What We Do
The Board’s mandate is determined by the provincial government and is embodied in legislation, regulation and directives.
The Board’s mission is to promote a viable, sustainable and efficient energy sector that serves the public interest and assists consumers to obtain reliable energy services that are cost effective.
The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, sets out guiding objectives for the Board:
- To protect the interests of consumers with respect to prices and the adequacy, reliability and quality of electricity service.
- To promote economic efficiency and cost effectiveness in the generation, transmission, distribution, sale and demand management of electricity and to facilitate the maintenance of a financially viable electricity industry.
- To promote electricity conservation and demand management in a manner consistent with the policies of the Government of Ontario, including having regard to the consumer’s economic circumstances.
- To facilitate the implementation of a smart grid in Ontario.
- To promote the use and generation of electricity from renewable energy sources in a manner consistent with the policies of the Government of Ontario, including the timely expansion or reinforcement of transmission systems and distribution systems to accommodate the connection of renewable energy generation facilities.
In the electricity sector, the Board sets transmission and distribution rates, and approves the Independent Electricity System Operator's (IESO) budget and fees. The Board also sets the rate for the Standard Supply Service for distribution utilities that supply electricity (commodity) directly to consumers. Read more about the Regulated Price Plan...
The OEB licenses all market participants including the IESO, generators, transmitters, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. Board approval is required for the construction of electricity transmission lines longer than two kilometres. As well, the Board is responsible for approving specific business arrangements involving the regulated parts of Ontario’s electricity industry.
The Board also monitors markets in the electricity sector and reports to the Minister of Energy on the efficiency, fairness and transparency and competitiveness of the markets as well as reporting on any abuse or potential abuse of market power. The Board may also be asked to review the IESO market rules and consider appeals of IESO orders.
The Board does not regulate competitive services. Competitive services for electricity are all business activities other than distribution, transmission and providing Standard Supply Service.
The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 sets out guiding objectives for the Board:
- To facilitate competition in the sale of gas to users.
- To protect the interests of consumers with respect to prices and the reliability and quality of gas service.
- To facilitate rational expansion of transmission and distribution systems.
- To facilitate rational development and safe operation of gas storage.
- To promote energy conservation and energy efficiency in accordance with the policies of the Government of Ontario, including having regard to the consumer’s economic circumstances.
- To facilitate the maintenance of a financially viable gas industry for the transmission, distribution and storage of gas.
- To promote communication within the gas industry and the education of consumers.
In the natural gas sector, the Board regulates Ontario's natural gas utilities which are required to submit the rates they propose to charge their customers to the Board for review and approval.
The OEB licenses all marketers who sell natural gas to residential and small commercial consumers.
The Board is required to determine if the construction of a natural gas pipeline is in the public interest by considering need, safety, economic feasibility, community benefits, security of supply and environmental impacts. Each municipality may grant a gas utility the right to deliver gas service and use road allowances or utility easements within its borders. The specific terms and conditions of these franchise agreements between the municipality and the utility are subject to Board approval.
As well, the Board approves geological formations that are suitable to store natural gas and determines the compensation payable to landowners when storage pools are situated on their property, if the parties cannot come to an agreement among themselves.
Board approval is also required before a natural gas utility can sell its distribution system or amalgamate with another distributor.
The Board does not regulate competitive services. In the gas sector these include the sale of gas (commodity), water heater rentals and repair or maintenance services. These products and services are competitive services and can be obtained from various companies.
The Board's mandate and authority come from the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, the Electricity Act, 1998, and a number of other provincial statutes. Other statutes which give jurisdiction to the Board are: the Municipal Franchises Act, the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act, the Assessment Act, and the Toronto District Heating Corporation Act.
Provided below are links to the main statutes governing the OEB or giving powers or duties to the OEB. By clicking on the name of the Act, you will be transferred to the Government of Ontario e-Laws website. For information about Ontario laws (Frequently Asked Questions, glossary, etc.) visit the e-Laws FAQ page or the e-Laws Glossary page.
Acts and Regulations
The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, outlines the mandate of the Ontario Energy Board with respect to electricity and natural gas regulation.
The Electricity Act, 1998, outlines the framework for Ontario's competitive electricity marketplace.
|Municipal Franchises Act||The Municipal Franchises Act provides for the granting of a franchise to a natural gas distributor to provide natural gas service within a municipality.|
The Board's processes are generally governed by the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
Page last updated 2016-01-28