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Retail Energy Contracts

Review of the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 (ECPA)
June 1, 2015 - The OEB released a report assessing how well the Energy Consumer Protection Act has worked since 2011 to protect the interests of residential and small business consumers in their dealings with energy retailers. Learn more...

If you are approached to sign or renew a gas or electricity contract for your home or small business, it’s important to know who you’re dealing with. Energy company salespeople must wear an ID badge and give you a business card.

Four things to remember if you are approached to sign an energy contract:

Always make sure you get a business card and look at the salesperson’s ID badge first

Don’t share personal information (i.e. your gas or electricity bill) unless you are sure you want to sign a contract

Carefully read the contract, disclosure statement and price comparison provided by the salesperson

The Ontario Energy Board does not go door to door






Are you a residential consumer and considering an energy contract? Our tip sheets can help you make the choice that's right for you.

  1. Before Signing an Energy Contract: What You Should Consider
  2. After Signing an Energy Contract: The Right to Review Your Decision
  3. Nearing the End of an Energy Contract: How Renewals Work
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What is the OEB's relationship to Energy Companies?

In Ontario, companies that sell energy under contract (also known as electricity retailers and natural gas marketers, or suppliers) have to follow laws and rules that protect consumers from unfair or misleading business practices. As the regulator, the OEB’s job is to make sure companies follow these rules. We carry out this consumer protection role in a number of ways. We:

  • license companies, although we do not regulate the prices they offer
  • help consumers work through issues they’re having with companies
  • investigate alleged violations
  • take enforcement action if a company breaks the rules
  • provide consumers with information about their rights and responsibilities when entering into energy contracts

View a list of active licensed companies


Rules That Companies Must Follow

The Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, contains many of the rules that companies have to follow when they offer energy under contract to households and small businesses. Some of the rules that protect consumers are:

  • Companies can only enter into, verify, renew or extend contracts with the account holder (the person whose name appears on the utility bill for the home or business), their spouse or their authorized agent for the premises
  • Salespeople must wear, and clearly display, an identification badge and give the consumer a business card
  • All contract costs must be shown in the contract
  • Customers have enhanced rights to cancel contracts, including a maximum on the cancellation fee the company can charge. In some cases there is no fee
  • Consumers have more information to help them better understand what’s being offered. For new contracts, as well as renewals and extensions, the company must provide:

The OEB also has rules to govern the conduct of these companies:



If we determine that a company has broken a law or rule, we can take enforcement action such as charging a penalty/fine and suspending or taking away the company’s licence. The steps for doing this are set out in legislation and the company is given a chance to present its side of the story before we make our final decision.


More Information

Before Signing a Contract After Signing a Contract Nearing the End of a Contract: Renewals List of Active Retailers and Marketers

Use the OEB online bill calculator to get a monthly bill estimate for electricity or natural gas, whether you’ve signed an energy contract or buy directly from your local utility.

Your Electricity Utility - Bill Calculator Your Natural Gas Utility - Bill Calculator




Page last updated 2015-06-04

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