(WINDSOR, ON) – EnWin, the local electrical distribution company owned by the City of Windsor, has yet to follow directions from the Ontario Energy Board on the information it is to provide on disconnecting customers for late payment.
In a May 1 letter to EnWin, and all other hydro providers in the province, the board vice-president of consumer protection, Brian Hewson, reminded the utilities about being, “… customer focused in their approach to any pending disconnections of residential customers for non-payment.”
Hewson made it clear the utilities are expected to, “… work with customers facing disconnection to find solutions that achieve the best possible outcome for those customers, including providing information and payment options to maintain the customer’s connection.”
In his letter, Hewson told the distributors to, “… ensure that information is posted on their websites regarding the disconnection process, how to avoid disconnection, and about both Low-Income Energy Assistance Program and the Ontario Electricity Support Program.”
There is no information on the disconnection process on the landing page of the EnWin website. In fact, a search of the term finds no results.
EnWin, in a response to The Square, says it has posted information in its news section, which is also linked to its welcome page. The information only provides the rules for debt collection that were in place on March 13 when the news story was posted.
It does not say the utility, at the time, was banned from disconnecting customers in the winter.
EnWin informs visitors about all Ontario utilities being required by, “… the Ontario Energy Board to follow stringent rules regarding disconnecting and reconnecting a service,” without mentioning that EnWin could not, at the time, disconnect a customer for late bill payment.
Although the ban was lifted on May 1, and the OEB is now reviewing whether it will be reinstated next winter, EnWin’s March news release does not mention the nuance from Hewson about solutions being to achieve the best outcome for the customer.
Hewson added that issues, “… related to disconnection will be a high priority in the OEB’s upcoming review of the customer service rules for both natural gas and electricity distributors. Our goal is to ensure that Ontario energy customers are protected and well-served by a financially viable energy sector.”