Ontario Energy Board Findings Establish Compliance Standards for Door-to-Door Energy Retailers and Marketers

Stockwoods lawyers, Phil Tunley and Andrea Gonsalves, acting as Compliance counsel for the Ontario Energy Board, have been successful in securing findings by a hearing Panel of the Board that licensed energy retailer, Summitt Energy Management Inc., committed a total of 47 contraventions of the Ontario Energy Board Act and related regulations and Codes through the actions of 5 of its door-to-door sales agents, involving 17 complainants. In a 56-page decision, the Panel makes detailed findings relating to these encounters, and with respect to the training, quality assurance and other business systems and processes used by Summitt in its door-to-door sales activities. The decision can be read here.

While the Panel allows the opportunity to present a “due diligence” defence to the complaints, it finds that Summitt “fell far short of any reasonable standard in its operation”. The Panel goes on to detail what it would consider to be a conforming due diligence approach. In addition to administrative penalties for the contraventions, the Panel orders full restitution to the 17 complainants, and an audit to determine the effectiveness of compliance measures introduced by Summitt after June 17, 2010, when the Notice Of Intention to Make an Order initiating this proceeding and an Interim Compliance Order were issued by the Board. A follow-up hearing relating to the details of the audit has been scheduled by the Panel for December 13, 2010.