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.
Rates and Charges
Essex Powerlines distribution rates include a fixed monthly service charge (which varies according to your rate classification yt- residential, general service, etc.) and a volume charge, based on the amount of electricity you use. Please note that residential service charges are fixed on the distribution front. The monthly service charge is designed to cover common costs that are independent of electricity use. All other distribution service costs are recovered through the volume rate.
In addition to distribution service rates, Essex Powerlines Corp. will pass through to you other regulated charges for transmission services, wholesale market services, rural and remote rate protection and debt retirement and Standard Supply Service, if applicable.
All rates and charges levied by Essex Powerlines Corp. including fees for work such as line maintenance, which is required to ensure electrical service and to keep equipment safe and in good repair on your property, will become your responsibility.
Rates and charges apply from the date you take responsibility for the service, even if you do not actually begin using electricity at that time.
You can obtain current information about the approved rates and charges that apply to your rate classification by Contacting Us at any time.
You may be asked to provide a deposit at any time. Deposits are held as security to guarantee payment of future charges.
Customers may pay their electricity bills by cheque or money order mailed with the remittance stub portion of the bill to Essex Powerlines Corp. at the address on the stub; in person at most Canadian Financial institutions; pre-authorized payment; and through automated banking machines, telebanking or Internet bill payment services as offered through your bank. All payments should be in Canadian dollars.
Essex Powerlines also offers an Equalized Payment Plan to most of our non retailer-enrolled customers.
Late Payment Charges
Although bills are due upon receipt, you are allowed 20 calendar days from the billing date on the statement to make payment. A late payment charge of 1.5% monthly may be charged on overdue balances. This surcharge encourages all customers to pay promptly and treats customers who pay on time in a fair manner.
Non-payment of your electricity bill may lead to disconnection. But our first choice is to work with our customers to keep their accounts in good standing. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, let us know- we’ll do our best to work out a payment arrangement that’s mutually acceptable.
Disconnection and Reconnection
We may disconnect or limit the amount of electricity you can consume if you default on any of your obligations under our Conditions of Service, including non-payment of your electricity bill, or by order of the Electrical Safety Authority. We are not liable for any damage related to the disconnection or limitation.
Space and Access
In order to read your meter or inspect and repair our equipment, we might need to enter your premises. Please keep the path to your electricity meter clear.
Tree & Vegetation Management
You are responsible for all tree trimming, tree and brush removal for all hydro lines on your property. Clearances must conform to the Electrical Safety Code. Once each year during normal business hours we will disconnect and reconnect your lines free of charge for this maintenance.
We will not divulge any of your information to third parties without your written consent, except:
- For billing or market operation purposes;
- For law enforcement purposes;
- For the purpose of complying with a legal requirement; or
- For the processing of past due accounts.
Refer to our Privacy Statement for further information.
We will locate all of our underground cables without charge, if asked. If we can’t locate the cables, we will disconnect and reconnect your power during normal business hours without charge. Unless it’s an emergency, we will charge for locating underground cables after normal business hours.
You are responsible for the installation and maintenance of your own power lines. For your own safety, please 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 ensure that your equipment is properly identified and connected for metering and operation purposes. You must take whatever steps necessary to correct any deficiencies in a timely fashion.
If you do not complete the work in a timely manner, we are entitled to disconnect your electrical service.
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.
You are not to erect a building or plant any gardens, trees, or shrubs that could obstruct or endanger any of our equipment or interfere with the safe operation of the distribution system.
From time to time, events beyond our control can cause power interruptions or voltage irregularities. For these reasons, we cannot guarantee a continuous supply of power and are not liable for any damages caused by a power outage.
Planned interruptions to your electricity service do occur and we’ll make every effort to provide you with advance notice.
Closing Your Account
If you decide to close your account, please give us seven days’ notice to allow us time to read your meter and issue you a final bill.
Essex Powerlines Corp. has an implied contract with any customer connected to our distribution system. Anyone who takes or uses electricity delivered by Essex Powerlines Corp. is liable to pay us for it. The terms of the implied contract are embedded in our Conditions of Service, the OEB’s Distribution Rate Handbook, our Rate schedules, our Distribution License and 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 by Essex Powerlines Corp. shall be binding upon the heirs, administrators, executors, successors, or assigns of the person(s) who took electricity supplied by Essex Powerlines Corp.
If you have a complaint about Essex Powerlines Corp., call our Customer Communications Centre at (519) 737-6640. If the service representative cannot resolve your dispute, we have an internal process that we hope will lead to your dispute being resolved. In the event that we cannot resolve your issue, the complaint can be escalated to a third-party complaints resolution agency that has been approved by the Ontario Energy Board.