CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
As part of our commitment to provide you with safe and reliable electricity service, we've clearly outlined the best way for us to do business together. Please take a few minutes to read the summary below, or refer to our fullConditions of Service document (aussi disponibleen français).
A Summary of our Conditions of Service
Our privacy code
Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information has always been an important aspect of the way we do business. We collect information about our customers, including personal information from our customers directly and from other sources, for example, credit bureaus, to:
- Establish identity (e.g., name, address, phone number, date of birth, etc.)
- Set up an account for electricity purchase and delivery
- Confirm credit history.
We collect your information to:
- Establish and maintain responsible commercial relations and operations, including for purposes of billing and debt collection and for assessing your credit history from time-to-time to determine whether we require a security deposit
- Understand your needs and eligibility for products and services
- Develop, enhance, recommend, market or provide electricity products and services
- Manage and develop our businesses and operations
- Provide you with information about the electricity market and rates
- Meet legal and regulatory requirements.
In some cases, your information will be shared with third-party service providers who perform services on our behalf. These service providers are given only the information necessary to perform those services that we have contracted them to provide. Additionally, they're prohibited from selling, storing, analyzing or using that information for purposes other than the services they have been contracted to provide. In the event a service provider is located outside of Canada, the service provider is bound by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the service provider is located.
We don't sell or trade your information. We don't use or disclose your information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with your consent or in accordance with applicable laws. In order to measure our performance and develop service improvements for you, we may conduct surveys. If you don't want your information used for surveys, contact us and we'll withhold it.
NEW – As of April 25, 2017
We are pleased to announce that we are putting value back into the hands of our customers by eliminating all residential security deposits, returning existing deposits and reducing deposit requirements for businesses. For these business customers, deposits will be returned after one year of good payment history – a change from five to seven years depending on service type. This will release more than $12 million back to families and businesses in the province.
Security deposits are collected to secure payment of future charges. Security deposits will be collected when a business customer initially applies for service. Security deposits are also collected from our business customers if they fail to maintain a good payment history.
You are considered to have a good payment history if all of the following conditions are met:
- No more than one disconnection notice has been issued
- No more than one cheque or pre-authorized payment has been returned for non-sufficient funds (NSF)
- No collection or disconnection trip has occurred.
Business customers must show good payment history for a period of one year.
We encourage you to maintain a good payment history to avoid having to pay a security deposit.
We review all security deposits annually to determine whether the deposit should be:
- fully refunded due to the establishment of a good payment history;
- adjusted (increased or partially refunded) based on a change in usage;
- remain unchanged.
Once you have established good payment history, all or part of the security deposit will be returned with interest. Interest earned will be credited to your account on a monthly basis or upon return of all or any part of the security deposit or the closing of the account, whichever comes first. Learn more about our Security Deposit Policy.
Rates and charges
Our Delivery rates include variable and fixed distribution charges, as well as transmission delivery charges. These charges vary according to your rate classification. You can find your rate classification or service type on page two of your Hydro One bill.
In addition to Delivery charges, we also collect charges on behalf of other parties, which are passed through to you. These include Electricity, Regulatory Charges, the Debt Retirement Charge (if applicable), the Global Adjustment (if applicable) and HST.
If you're enrolled with a retailer, you'll be billed at your contracted rate for electricity. Otherwise, you'll be billed the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) Time-of-Use (TOU) prices for electricity. Or if we haven't switched you to TOU pricing, you'll be billed the RPP tiered prices for electricity.
If you don't qualify for RPP electricity prices, you'll be billed in accordance with applicable regulations outlined in the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. Certain rates and charges apply from the date you become responsible for the service, even if you don't actually begin using electricity at that time. For current information about the approved rates and charges that apply to your rate classification, visit our website or contact us.
You may pay your bills:
- By cheque or money order with the remittance stub portion of the bill, to Hydro One Networks Inc. at the address on the stub
- In person at most Canadian financial institutions
- By pre-authorized payment
- By automated banking machines, telephone banking or Internet bill payment offered by your financial institution
- By credit card (service fee will be applied by Paymentus Corporation).
- Or by MoneyGram or Western Union.
All payments must be in Canadian dollars. Please allow up to five business days for processing.
We also offer a budget billing plan to most of our customers to help smooth electricity costs over the year. Periodic adjustments may be made to the monthly budget bill amount due to rate or usage changes.
Day 1 = Bill print date
Days 2-4 = 3 days for mailing
Days 5-20 = 16 days for payment period
Total = 19 days (Required Payment Date)
In addition to the bill issue and payment period, the OEB has directed when a customer payment is deemed to be received by Hydro One:
- Three days before it is received by Hydro One, if sent by mail
- On the date when the payment is acknowledged by a bank, or
- When the credit card payment is accepted by the financial institution.
These timelines will be the same for all customers, no matter their method of billing or payment.
Any payment made after 5 p.m. is still effective on the day the payment is made.
Late payment charges
Bills are due on the billing date. A late payment charge is applied and shall be paid if payment is not received by the required payment date, which is 19 days after the billing date. When a required payment date is a weekend or holiday, the payment will be required on the next business day.
If payment is not received by the required payment date, a late payment charge of 1.5 per cent, compounded monthly (19.56 per cent per year) is applied to the outstanding balance. The late payment charge is calculated from the billing date to the date the next bill is issued. If partial payment is received before the required payment date, the late payment charge will apply only to the amount still outstanding. Late payment charges will be added to your next bill.
Customers who are on pre-authorized payment will have their payment amount automatically withdrawn from their bank account on the 19th day after the billing date. The withdrawal date and amount is indicated on each bill.
Non-payment of your electricity bill may lead to disconnection. Our first choice is to work with you to keep your account in good standing. If you're experiencing financial difficulties, let us know — we'll do our best to work out an arrears payment agreement.
We have the right to transfer arrears from one account in a customer's name to any other account in the same customer's name, irrespective of rate classification or whether either account is in the name of another person or other persons in addition to the customer.
Smart meteringDisconnection and reconnection
In order for a RPP eligible customer to opt out of TOU pricing and instead opt for Spot pricing, the customer must have an interval meter capable of providing data on at least an hourly basis. The customer is responsible for all incremental costs associated with the meter installation and must inform us in writing of his or her decision to opt for Spot pricing.
We reserve the right to physically disconnect or limit the amount of electricity that you can use for a number of reasons, including the following:
- If you default on any of your obligations under our Conditions of Service, including non-payment of your electricity bill
- If we have reason to believe that our assets have been tampered with at your address
- If there is a threat to personal safety or to the reliability of any part of the distribution system
- If we're unable to perform meter reading, planned inspections, maintenance, repairs or replacement of a meter
- If you move into an existing property and use electricity but don't notify us to take responsibility for the account
- If you have willfully and intentionally avoided bill payment of outstanding charges by applying or re-applying for a new account under a different account holder name
- By order of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)
Please note that some of our meters have the functionality to be remotely operated and be disconnected or reconnected without an in-person visit to your property.
Reconnection or restoration of electricity service will occur only after the reason for disconnection or limitation is remedied. We're not liable for any damage related to the disconnection or limitation.
If the service has been disconnected for a period of six months or longer, or for other safety-related reasons, the ESA must inspect and provide us with authorization for connection before we can reconnect the service. It's your responsibility to arrange and pay for the inspection, including remediation of any deficiencies identified by the ESA.
Collection charges will apply if we collect payment for an overdue account on-site, if we disconnect service, if we install a load limiter or if we reconnect your service. Charges will be applied to your account and are due on your next bill.
Accuracy of information
You have an obligation to provide us with information that is true, complete and correct. The information is used to provide customer service, deliver and/or supply electricity and manage customer accounts. We may verify the accuracy of all information provided. We reserve the right to disconnect service to your property if we're unable to establish your identity.
In accordance with the Retail Settlement Code section 7.7.7, where a customer or retailer has been under billed, the maximum period of under billing for which Hydro One is entitled to be paid is two years. Where Hydro One has over billed a customer or retailer, the maximum period of over billing for which the customer or retailer is entitled to be repaid is two years
Hydro One’s standard billing practice includes estimated meter readings. If you have been overbilled, and the billing error isn’t the result of Hydro One’s standard billing practice, Hydro One will pay interest on the amount credited, at the rate stipulated in the Retail Settlement Code.
Tampering or theft isn’t considered a billing error and there’s no time limit to charge a customer for under-billed electricity.
If you’re responsible for the under-billing, whether by way of tampering, willful damage, unauthorized energy use or other unlawful actions, you’ll pay both the amount under billed and a late payment charge, as determined by Hydro One in accordance with our Conditions of Service.
For additional information refer to Our Conditions of Service: 2.4.4 Billing Item G: Billing errors, Over and Under Billing or contact us.
Space and access
To read the meter or inspect and repair our equipment, we need access to your property and may need to enter the premises, so please keep the path to the electricity meter clear. Providing us with access to the meter is your responsibility. If accessing the meter is an ongoing issue, we may require the meter to be relocated at your expense.
Tree and vegetation management
You're responsible for all tree trimming and tree and brush removal for the overhead power lines on your property that serve only your home or business. According to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, clearances between trees and power lines must be one metre for secondary lines and four metres for primary lines. The diagrams below show the difference between primary and secondary lines.
Due to the danger of working around overhead power lines, unqualified individuals should never attempt to cut down trees or trim branches close to, or touching, overhead power lines. We strongly recommend that you hire a certified utility arborist or a qualified electrical contractor to do this work.
More safety tips can be found in our brochures Steer Clear of the Zap Zone and Right Tree, Right Place. A copy of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code may be obtained from the Electrical Safety Authority.
Marking underground cables
We'll locate and mark the location of all of our underground cables, if able, without charge as long as you have provided all relevant information, including the location of where the work will take place, the expected time when the work will begin and the scope and nature of the work. Please help our cable locators by outlining with white paint or white flags where the excavation is to occur. To request an underground cable locate, call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or submit an e-ticket at www.on1call.com. Ontario One Call is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Requests for cable locates should be made as early as possible, at least five business days' in advance. Unless it's an emergency, there will be a charge for locating underground cables after normal business hours.
The diagrams below show the difference between primary and secondary underground services.
If we’re unable to locate your cable, which is connected to our distribution system, we’ll disconnect and then reconnect your electricity service during normal business hours without charge. Cables owned by other parties won't be located by us. You should contact Ontario One Call or call the owners of these cables directly.
Your electrical equipment
Unless stated otherwise in the full Conditions of Service document, power lines, poles and other equipment located on your property supplying only your home or business are owned by you.
Any maintenance and installation requirements for customer-owned equipment including the meter base are your responsibility.
For your safety, remember that this work must be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority. You must comply with all applicable laws, including (but not limited to) the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, and you must ensure that your equipment is properly identified and connected for metering and operation purposes, and that you inspect your equipment at regular intervals.
You must take all necessary steps to correct any deficiencies to your electrical equipment as requested by us or the ESA. If you don't complete the work in a timely manner, we have the right to disconnect your electricity service.
Temporarily disconnect your service
We’ll temporarily disconnect and reconnect your service once a year during normal business hours, so you can upgrade or maintain your electrical equipment, including trimming trees. Please give us at least 10 days’ advance notice so we can schedule the work.
We will repair or replace, at our expense, any of our equipment on your property that fails due to ordinary wear and tear. For any other damage, you are responsible for paying us the value of our equipment or the cost to repair or replace the equipment.
In some cases, alterations may be necessary to your structures, pavement, landscaping, etc., to enable us to access and repair equipment. We always attempt to minimize this disruption, but we cannot guarantee or assume the costs of returning your property to its original state.
You must not build, plant, place or maintain any structure, tree, shrub, landscaping or other obstruction that could:
- Result in the obstruction of access to our equipment
- Interfere with the proper and safe operation of the distribution system (including, but not limited to, the ability to manually or remotely read a metering installation
- Endanger any part of our equipment
- Affect our compliance with any applicable laws
If you do not remove the item, we may disconnect your supply of electricity and/or carry out the removal of the obstruction at your expense. In the event this occurs, we are not liable for any damages other than physical damage arising directly from entry to your property.
Power interruptions and surges
From time to time, events beyond our control can cause power interruptions or voltage irregularities. Therefore, we cannot guarantee a continuous or constant supply of power and will not be liable for any damages caused by a lack of power, or a power outage or surge unless those damages are caused by our negligence or willful misconduct, in which case we will be liable for direct damages but not for other types of damages, such as indirect or consequential damages or business losses. Also, planned interruptions to your electricity service do occur. While we try to provide you with advance notice of such interruptions, we may be unable to do so; and in such situations, the interruptions will proceed as planned. We are not liable for any damages caused by such planned outages.
Connecting a generator
Generators are responsible for all costs associated with connecting a generating facility to our distribution system. If you're considering connecting a generator, please visit our Generators section for information, technical requirements and application forms.
Closing your account
If you decide to close your account, you must give us five business days' notice to allow us time to read your meter and issue your final bill.
If you request that your service be cancelled and you no longer wish for us to provide electricity to your home or business, we may remove certain delivery equipment, such as power lines, transformers and meters. If you request reconnection, you'll incur the applicable costs to re-install appropriate delivery equipment. Also, if your service has been disconnected for six months or longer, you'll need to arrange for an ESA inspection prior to reconnection.
We have an implied contract with every customer connected to our distribution system. The terms of the implied contract are embedded in our Conditions of Service, our Distribution Licence, our Rate Schedules, the Ontario Energy Board Distribution Rate Handbook, the Distribution System Code, the Standard Supply Service Code and the Retail Settlement Code, all as amended from time-to-time.
Any implied contract for the supply of electricity will be binding upon the heirs, administrators, executors, successors and assigns of the person(s) who took or used electricity supplied by us.
For account management purposes, we may consolidate the accounts of customers with multiple services, including services at multiple locations or premises, and treat these as a single account.
Landlord and tenant agreements
When a tenant contacts us to take responsibility for service, our contract is with the tenant. Therefore, when the tenant advises us that he or she will no longer accept responsibility as of a specific date, it's our obligation to adhere to the date we have been given, despite any lease or verbal agreement between the landlord and tenant. If a tenant advises us that he or she is no longer responsible for the account, a final bill will be issued.
At that time, the services will be set up in the landlord's/owner’s name, only if the landlord/owner agrees to automatically assume responsibility for paying for continued service after the closure of a tenant’s account. If a new account is set up in the landlord's/owner’s name, a new account setup charge may apply; and even though the property may be vacant, monthly service charges and electricity used will be billed.
If the landlord/owner refuses responsibility for continued service and a new tenant hasn’t assumed responsibility for the account, we may disconnect and remove our delivery equipment from the property. Likewise for new connections, if a person hasn't completed the account set up process and assumed responsibility for electricity service charges, we reserve the right to disconnect and remove our delivery equipment from the property.
Concerns and Feedback
If you have feedback or a complaint, please call our Customer Communications Centre at 1-888-664-9376. We have an established internal resolution process that will be followed to resolve any concerns. If for any reasons we can't resolve your issue, you may raise it with the Ontario Energy Board.