The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from licensed electricity distributor GrandBridge Energy Inc. (GrandBridge Energy), which serves about 111,000 customers in the cities of Brantford and Cambridge, the Township of North Dumfries and the County of Brant.
Under the terms of this AVC, GrandBridge Energy acknowledges that a billing system error that persisted for several years resulted in some customers being overcharged. Specifically, a portion of bills issued by GrandBridge Energy reflected an incorrect proration of OEB-approved fixed monthly charges. GrandBridge Energy implemented system changes to correct this issue effective August 4, 2023.
Under the terms of this AVC, GrandBridge Energy will contribute $57,171.45 to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers in need in its service area. The amount is equivalent to four years of overcharges. The OEB accepted this approach in this case given that a four-year credit would be small (about $0.39 per residential customer) and that many of those affected by the billing system error are no longer customers of GrandBridge Energy. GrandBridge Energy will notify current customers of this AVC and the contribution to LEAP in a form approved by the OEB.
“All licensed electricity distributors must be rigorous in applying OEB-approved rates and calculating accurate billing amounts for their customers. Billing accuracy is foundational to customer trust and the OEB is assured that GrandBridge Energy has fixed this billing issue,: said Brian Hewson, Vice-President, Consumer Protection and Industry Performance.
GrandBridge Energy will also pay an administrative monetary penalty of $15,000.
GrandBridge Energy reported the issue to the OEB in June 2023 after seeing that another distributor had provided an AVC to the OEB in respect of a similar proration error.
An AVC is a binding commitment by a regulated entity to take measures to rectify or prevent non-compliance. Failure to abide by the terms of an AVC can lead to enforcement action being taken by the OEB.