For Immediate Release

          Statement regarding PUC disconnection notices

Sault Ste. Marie (April 23, 2021)

The disconnection of hyrdo services is a last resort for PUC, conducted only after all other avenues including flexible payment plans, extensions and other options have been exhausted.

The Ontario Energy Board (“OEB”) sets out specific rules in the Distribution System Code (“DSC”) for Licenced Electricity Distributors (LED)  issuing Disconnection Notice Letters  to customers.

During an OEB review in 2019, PUC Services Inc. as well as at least half a dozen other LDC’s across Ontario, were found to be non-compliant with the code during the disconnection cycle between May 1 – November 14, 2019.  

In the case of PUC, it was found the non-compliance related primarily to the misinterpretation of the mail date of disconnection notices, which required clerks to manually calculate dates including holidays.  The OEB has since amended the code to a straight calendar date calculation, helping to minimize risk of human errors by LDCs in the future.

A total of 37 PUC customers were disconnected outside the DSC window by an average of one to three days.

PUC has taken a number of steps to address the clerical errors and ensure future compliance with the DSC:

  • PUC has issued letters of apology to all customers who received a disconnection notice that fell outside the correct dates.
  • PUC entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with OEB that included paying OEB a monetary penalty of $20,000, providing a $25,000 donation to LEAP (Low-income Energy Assistance Program) which is administered by the United Way Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma district and the program assists customers in need and; the issuing of credits to the bills of customers who were charged a reconnection fee related to the non-compliant Disconnection Notice Letters in question.
  • PUC has conducted a thorough review of its process to ensure full compliance with the revised rules.

PUC has a history of going beyond regulatory requirements to ensure all efforts have been made to help customers avoid disconnections including phone calls 48 hour in advance of letters of notice and payment plans options.

Media contact:

Jairus Patterson
Communications Coordinator
PUC Services Inc.
P: 705-759-6581
C: 705-254-8979

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