Customer Notice: Disconnection Rules
It is important to remind customers of the rules that utilities must follow regarding disconnecting and reconnecting a service.
Utilities are required to provide the necessary minimum advance notice and make every effort to contact the customer by phone or in person at least 48 hours before the date of disconnection. Utilities are also obligated to offer repayment options and are required to reconnect within 2 business days of receiving a payment and/or of the customer entering into a repayment arrangement.
Customers should also be aware that:
- They must be offered repayment options;
- They cannot be disconnected if they agree to a repayment arrangement and follow that arrangement;
- A low-income customer may be eligible for the following special rules:
- The utility must suspend a disconnection process for 21 days once it has been advised that a customer may be eligible for emergency financial assistance; and
- A customer that has agreed to a repayment plan has more time to pay outstanding balances to the utility.
- Help is available for low-income customers through programs including:
- Ontario Electricity Support Program, which is now helping 163,500 low-income Ontarians pay their electricity bills; and,
- Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), which provides emergency financial assistance to help pay overdue electricity bills. Consumers can learn more about these programs here.
- Lakefront Utilities also abides by the OEB’s rules to ensure that all electricity customers are treated fairly when it comes to disconnections. Learn more about the customer service rules that are in place for consumers who are not low-income.
- Lakefront Utilities offers Save On Energy programs that can help customers reduce their energy use and lower their overall household costs.
- Customers can call the OEB at 1-877-632-2727 or visit Ontario Energy Board if they feel that the rules have not been followed or have other concerns or questions.
- A customer requesting a disconnection will continue to be billed a fixed monthly service charge until the distributor has removed the service from the distributor’s electrical system. The monthly service charge component is designed to recover common costs of distribution services that are independent of electricity use.
NOTE: Effective February 2017, Lakefront Utilities Inc. has voluntarily implemented a policy to end residential disconnections during the winter.
Lakefront Utilities Inc. shares the Ontario Energy Board’s commitment to protecting customers and will ensure that the rules on disconnections and re-connections are strictly followed.