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Customer Service Policies for Natural Gas Utilities

Enbridge Gas Distribution, Union Gas and NRG all have customer service policies for households. They also have policies specific to low-income customers. The Board requires them to publish and comply with those policies.

Kitchener Utilities and Utilities Kingston* also have customer service policies. Those policies are consistent with those of Enbridge, Union and NRG.

*The rates for Kitchener Utilities and Utilities Kingston are not regulated by the Board.

Here is a summary of the utilities’ customer service policies (general and low-income):

Eligible Low-income Gas Customer Definition

ELIGIBLE LOW-INCOME GAS CUSTOMER DEFINITION

  Board Low-Income Customer Service Rule

 

Eligible low-income customers are residential natural gas customers who have a pre-tax household income at or below Statistics Canada’s most recent pre-tax Low Income Cut-Off plus 15%, taking into account family and community size and are qualified by a Social Service or Government Agency.
You must be qualified by a Social Service or Government Agency that:

  1. partners with your local gas distributor to assess eligibility for Emergency Financial Assistance; or
  2. assesses eligibility for other energy financial assistance or for other low-income financial assistance programs, and partners with your local distributor to qualify customers for eligibility.

If you have qualified for Emergency Financial Assistance under the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, or other financial assistance made available by your distributor such as Winter Warmth, you will automatically qualify for any specific low-income customer service policies your natural gas distributor may provide.

You must contact your utility before a special low-income customer service policy will be made available to you.

 

Security Deposits

SECURITY DEPOSITS

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

Gas utilities may collect security deposits from residential customers, which may now be paid in equal instalments over 6 months.

When determining whether to issue a disconnection notice or to pursue additional payment arrangements with you, your utility will take into consideration any security deposit currently held on your account.

If you are an eligible low-income gas customer and don’t have an account with a financial institution, security deposit requirements are to be waived , as long as you are enrolled in Budget Billing Plan or Equal Billing Plan. The waiver applies to all qualified low-income customers, except those whose accounts have been disconnected during the preceding year for NRG customers,  or two years for Enbridge and Union customers.

 

Under-Billing Adjustments

UNDER-BILLING ADJUSTMENTS

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

A message will be included on bills with significant under-billing adjustments that you may contact the utility to discuss payment options.

The same policy will apply to eligible low-income customers.

 

Equalized Billing and/or Payment Plan Options

EQUALIZED BILLING AND/OR PAYMENT PLAN OPTIONS

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

Customers will be allowed access to equal billing and payment plans year-round.

The same policy will apply to eligible low-income customers.

 

Disconnections

DISCONNECTION PERIOD

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

The number of days before your utility can disconnect for non-payment varies from utilty to utility. Consult the Conditions of Service for your utility for details. 

You will be granted a disconnection suspension for 21 days after your natural gas utility is notified by a Social Service or Government Agency that you are eligible for Emergency Financial Assistance.

ASSISTANCE INFORMATION BEFORE DISCONNECTION

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

Utilities must attempt to contact you several times before they can proceed to disconnect your natural gas service.  Contact your utility’s customer service staff for more details. 

The same policy will apply to eligible low-income customers.

 

Arrears Payment Agreements

SERVICE CHARGES AND LATE PAYMENT CHARGES

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

Your utility may include any outstanding service charges and/or late payment charges when calculating the total amount due when you enter into an arrears agreement.

Your utility may collect interest during the course of such an arrears payment agreement. 

If you are an eligible low-income customer, additional late payment charges will not be applied after you enter into an arrears agreement, subject to the following conditions:

  • If you cancel the arrears payment agreement or default on the arrears payment agreement, late payment charges will again become applicable on that agreement.
  • If you are a customer of Enbridge or Union and default on an arrears payment agreement, the option to have late payment charges waived on any future arrears payment agreement will no longer be automatically available to you. Enbridge and Union may, however, consider individual customer circumstances. Please consult your utility for details.

In the event that you successfully complete an arrears payment agreement, your utility will continue to allow late payment charges to be waived on any future payment agreements for a period of two years. After two years your low-income eligibility must be re-assessed.

OTHER PAYMENT AGREEMENT TERMS

Customer Service Policies  Applied to all Residential Customers Low-Income Customer Service Policy

Your utility will take into account your individual circumstances when designing and offering you an arrears payment agreement. 

The same policy will apply to eligible low-income customers.

 

 

For more information, consult your utility’s current Conditions of Service:

Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
Telephone: (416) 758-4701
Email: collectionssupport@enbridge.com
Website: https://www.enbridgegas.com/homes/customer-service/Conditions-of-service.aspx

Union Gas Limited
Telephone: 1-888-774-3111 (Account & Billing Inquiries)
Email: http://www.uniongas.com/residential/contact-us/contact-email
Website: http://www.uniongas.com/~/media/aboutus/policies/conditions-of-service.pdf

Natural Resource Gas Limited
Telephone: (519) 773-5321 ext 211
Email: creditdept@nrgas.on.ca
Web link: http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/_Documents/For+Consumers/NRG_Customer_Service_Policy.pdf

Kitchener Utilities (Billing Inquiries)
Telephone: (519) 741-2450
Website: http://www.kitchenerutilities.ca/en/myaccount/Customer-Service-Practices.asp

Utilities Kingston
Telephone: (613) 546-0000 (Call Centre)
Email: info@utilitieskingston.com
Website: http://www.utilitieskingston.com/TermsOfService.aspx

 

 

More Information

For more information on how the above rules were developed, please visit the OEB's INDUSTRY website:

Customer Service Amendments to the Gas Distribution Access Rule
 

 

 

 

Page last updated 2017-01-23

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M4P 1E4

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