Electricity retailers buy electricity from power generators to sell, at a
profit, to customers at a fixed* price for a set number of years.
*check the fine print on the contract as some allow the retailer to change its price
Electricity Retailers solicit customers through advertising, mail outs, phone calls and door-to-door visits. A contract with the electricity retailer only affects the "Electricity" line of your bill. This price is determined by the electricity retailer and the price you sign for is not regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.
In the past years, energy retailers have cracked the Top Ten list of consumer complaints received by the Ministry of Consumer Services.
As of 2011, the Ontario Government has strengthened rules to protect energy consumers. Read more
Thunder Bay Hydro is not associated with electricity retailers in any way. Their conduct is regulated by the Ontario Energy Board. They are not 'contracted' by the government or your local power company.
- Thunder Bay Hydro does not send people to your door to discuss your hydro bill.
- You do not have to show your hydro bill to anyone who asks to see it.
- You do not have to sign up with a retailer to get electricity. By default, Thunder Bay Hydro will provide you with electricity based on the price regulated by the province. This is the Regulated Price Plan rate.
WRITE IT DOWN
Before you begin discussions with someone about your electricity rates, ensure that you write down the Company name, Salesperson Name and ID number. Ask to see their ID badge - this is required by the Retailer Code of Conduct.
THEY WILL COME - PREPARE AHEAD
You don't have to switch to a retailer but, if you do, you will be asked to enter into a contract with them. The contract will be legally binding, so be sure to see it in writing then carefully review it before signing or before providing your account number to a retailer on the phone. Be sure to ask questions and compare terms carefully without feeling any pressure .
Also see the links on the right to get comparison prices for all electricity retailers. You can also call our Customer Services to get print outs of this information and the questions.
IF THEY MISREPRESENT THEMSELVES
Electricity retailers must be licensed by the Ontario Energy Board and they have a Code of Conduct (PDF file) they are obligated to follow.
If you have a concern about a retail contract that you have signed, you should always first contact the retailer about the issue.
If a retailer misrepresents themselves as being from the government or Thunder Bay Hydro, try to learn what company they are actually from. Get a business card or web address. You will need to know their name/physical description and the company they are from in order to pursue a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the way the issue is being handled or if you feel that you have been misled by the salesperson, you should contact the Ontario Energy Board.
|Mailing Address:||Box 2319,
Toronto, ON M4P 1E4
Please be aware that any price per kilowatt hour quoted by an electricity retailer pertain only to the 'Your Electricity Charges' portion of your hydro bill. It doesn't apply to any of the other charges. The "Global Adjustment" may or may not be part of their quote. The "Global Adjustment" is already part of the RPP and can double a retailer's quoted price.
- This means that a retailer should not use the total on the bill to compare prices.
Also, you may have to pay outstanding charges before leaving the Regulated Price Plan, which you have been part of while buying electricity through Thunder Bay Hydro. For more information on this, click here.
CBC Marketplace aired a show about door to door retailers that you may wish to see. View it from their website.
This page last updated 2013-07-29.