font-size:-+
OEB logo

After Signing an Energy Contract: The Right to Review Your Decision

This tip sheet applies to contracts that are entered into on and after January 1, 2011.  For the rules that apply to contracts that are entered into before then, please view this tip sheet.



View this information in other languages:
other languages
Arabic Chinese Greek Italian Polish Portuguese Punjabi Spanish Tagalog Tamil Vietnamese
  1. You must receive a copy of the contract and acknowledge receipt of it.
    The electricity retailer or gas marketer must provide you with a text-based copy of the contract, including all terms and conditions, and you must acknowledge its receipt.  Otherwise, the contract will become invalid.  If you enter into a contract in person, you are considered to have acknowledged receipt of the contract when you sign it.  If you enter into a contract over the internet, you are considered to have acknowledged receipt of the contract when the contract is sent to you by e-mail by the electricity retailer or gas marketer.  If you enter into a contract by mail, you are considered to have acknowledged receipt of it when you mail a signed copy of the contract back to the electricity retailer or gas marketer.

     
  2. You have a 10-day “cooling-off” period to review your decision.
    After you acknowledge receipt of the contract, you have 10 days to cancel it. Take the time to read the contract in detail again. Research any questions you may have, including whether entering into the contract will have an effect on any equal payment plan you might have with your utility. Be comfortable with your choice. You may cancel the contract at any time during this 10-day period by contacting the company.  You will not have to pay a cancellation fee and your electricity service will continue without interruption.

     
  3. You can also cancel an electricity contract up to 30 days after you receive your first bill under the contract.
    You will have to pay that bill, but you will not have to pay a cancellation fee.  You will be switched back to your utility for your electricity supply without any interruption in service.  This additional right to cancel without paying a cancellation fee does not apply to gas contracts.

     
  4. You may need to “verify” the contract for it to remain valid.
    In most cases, after the 10-day cooling-off period but no later than 45 days after you acknowledge receipt of the contract, the electricity retailer / gas marketer will contact you by phone  to confirm that you want to continue with the contract. That phone call must comply with a script approved by the OEB, and it must be recorded by the electricity retailer / gas marketer.   If you ask for a copy of the recording, it must be sent to you within 10 days.

    You do not have to verify the contract.  If you say no, the contract will become invalid.  You will not have to pay a cancellation fee and your electricity service will continue without interruption.

    A contract with an electricity retailer / gas marketer does not need to be verified in any of the following cases: 

    • the contact with the electricity retailer / gas marketer was initiated by the consumer;
    • the consumer responded to a direct mail solicitation; or 
    • the consumer entered into the contract over the internet.

       
  5. You may have to pay a cancellation fee if you have verified a gas contract and cancel it later.  If you have verified an electricity contract, you may have to pay a cancellation fee if you cancel it more than 30 days after you receive your first bill under the contract.
    The contract must contain a description of the circumstances in which the contract can be cancelled by you and the amount of any cancellation fees you may have to pay in each circumstance.

     
  6. Once you have verified a gas or electricity contract, you may have to pay a cancellation fee if you cancel it later.  
    The Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 allows you to cancel a contract for different reasons, some of which are identified above.  In most of these cases, you will not have to pay any cancellation fees or penalties.  If you cancel a contract simply because you no longer wish to purchase gas or electricity from the electricity retailer / gas marketer, you may be charged a cancellation fee.  The maximum cancellation fee that can be charged to most residential consumers is:

    • for electricity contracts:  $50 for each year, or part year, remaining on the contract
    • for gas contracts:  $100 for each year, or part year, remaining on the contract


    Maximum cancellation fees are calculated differently for consumers whose consumption of electricity or gas is high (more than 15,000 kWh or 3,500 cubic meters per year) or where the contract is to supply electricity or gas to a property that is used primarily for business purposes. Annually, a typical consumer uses about 9,600 kWh of electricity and about 3,000 or less cubic meters of natural gas. 

    The contract must contain a description of the circumstances in which the contract can be cancelled by you and the amount of any cancellation fees you may have to pay in each circumstance.

 

 

 

Page last updated 2013-08-12

Bookmark and Share

Ontario Coat of ArmsONTARIO ENERGY BOARD
P.O. Box 2319
2300 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 1E4

1-877-632-2727 (toll-free within Ontario)
416-314-2455 (within Greater Toronto Area or from outside Canada)
Fax: 416-440-7656

Business hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Submit a Question or Complaint