Open/Close Account

If you are opening your first account with us, you are joining over 33,000 electric customers and 26,000 water customers managed by PUC Services Inc.. This section also provides you with information on any security deposits you may be required to pay, on moving your account and on closing your account with us.

New Customer

To open an account with us, please complete the “New Customer” online application form, or contact our Customer Care office by calling 705-759-6522 – Monday to Friday between 9:00am - 4:30pm

The process is simple.

Please have the following information ready when you call:
Personal identification, contact telephone number, complete address (and your landlord's if applicable), and the date your service is to begin.
A security deposit may be required. See our Security Deposit Policy for additional information.

Transferring Your Account

If you are moving to another address within Sault Ste. Marie, you can change your account through our online “Move Within Service Area” form or by calling our office at 705-759-6522 with the following information:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • whether you are a tenant or owner
  • your utility account number
  • your new address
  • the final date the meter should be read at your existing address and the start date the meter should be read at your new address
  • an account set up charge of $30.00 plus HST will be applied to your first bill

Closing Your Account

You can close your account by completing our online “Cancel Service” form or calling 705-759-6522 at least 2 working days prior to your move. We will need to know:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • your utility account number
  • whether you are a tenant or owner
  • the final date on which the meter should be read, and what arrangements, if any, are required to access the meter.
  • a forwarding address for your final bill
  • the name of the new occupant or landlord if you are a tenant

Security Deposit Policy

The Deposit Policy conforms to the Ontario Energy Board Distribution System Code and Retail Settlement Code and is included in the Conditions of Service for PUC Distribution Inc.

PUC requires security deposits, in a form acceptable to PUC, as a precaution to protect PUC and its Customers against potential losses from non-payment of accounts. Security deposits will be required for accounts which are billed under Standard Supply Service, Split Billing or Distributor Consolidated Billing. Service may be refused or discontinued if the required deposit is not paid.

The requirement to provide a deposit may be waived for permanent supply of electrical energy if certain conditions are met. Customers that have been exempted from paying a deposit and are now deemed to have an unsatisfactory payment record or have become a credit risk may be required to provide a deposit.

Good Payment History

The relevant time period that makes up the good payment history is one year for residential customers, 3 years for general services customers with demand less than 50 kW and 7 years for all other rate classes. The relevant time period must be the most recent period of time and some of the time period must have occurred in the previous 24 months.

A customer is deemed to have a good payment history unless during the relevant time period the following or more than one of the following singular criteria has occurred;

  • The customer has received more than one disconnection notice,
  • More than one cheque has been returned for insufficient funds,
  • More than one pre-authorized payment has been returned for insufficient funds,
  • A disconnect/collect trip has occurred, or
  • The utility has to apply the security deposit to cover the arrears.

Deposit Waived

The deposit requirement for Customers shall be waived if the Customer:

  • Has a good payment history as set out in the section above or,
  • Provides a letter from another distributor or gas distributor in Canada confirming a good payment history,
  • Provides a satisfactory credit check at the customers expense,
  • An eligible low-income customer has requested a waiver,
  • Enrollment in the utilities equal billing and/or pre authoritized payment plan.

Amount of Deposit

Where the service address has an established usage history, the amount of the deposit will be based on that history. Where there is no history, the amount will be based on the service size or typical usage pattern for comparable dwelling types as set out in Appendix D of PUC Distribution Inc. Conditions of Service.

The maximum amount of a security deposit, where a customer is billed monthly, shall be 2.5 times the estimated bill based on the customer's average monthly load during the most recent 12 consecutive months within the past two years. Where relevant usage information is not available for the customer for 12 consecutive months within the past two years the customer's average monthly load shall be based on a reasonable estimate made by PUC Distribution. PUC will determine the amount of the security deposit which will not exceed the maximum allowable according to the applicable Ontario Energy Board codes.

Deposits Refunded

For Residential Service Customers, deposits, plus interest, will be refunded or credited to the account either when the account is finalized or after one calendar year, provided the Customer has had a good payment history.
For General Service Customers, deposits, plus interest, will be refunded or credited to the account, either when the account is finalized, or after three years for customers with demand less than 50 kW and 7 years in any other rate class, provided the customer has had a good payment history. For customers with a demand greater than 5000 kW who would be exempt from paying a deposit, PUC is only required to return 50% of the security deposit.

Security deposits will be reviewed each calendar year to determine whether the deposit is to be reduced or returned as the customer is in a position that would exempt them from paying a deposit based on a good payment history.

A customer may, no earlier than twelve months after the payment of a security deposit or the making of a prior demand for a review, demand in writing that PUC Services Inc. undertake a review to determine whether the entire amount of the security deposit, or portion of the security deposit, is to be returned to the customer, as the customer is now in a position that they would be exempt from paying a security deposit.
Deposits shall be returned within six weeks of the closure of an account subject to the Distributor's right to use the security deposit to offset amounts owing by the customer to the Distributor in regards to their final bill.

Where a customer changes from SSS to a competitive retailer that uses retailer-consolidated billing or from distributor consolidated billing to split billing or retailer consolidated billing the security deposit shall be applied to the final bill prior to the change in service. Where a change is made from distributor-consolidated billing to split billing the distributor may retain a portion of the deposit that reflects the non-payment risk associated with the new billing option.

Form of Security Deposit

The security deposit can be paid in equal installments over a six month period. The customer may choose to pay the security deposit over a shorter period of time.

The security deposit for a non-residential customer shall be cash, cheque, an automatically renewing irrevocable letter of credit as defined in the Bank Act, 1991 (c.46), letter of guarantee, bond, or other security issued by a financial institution or insurer. The form of security must be acceptable to PUC.

In the event that the requirements for the security deposit are not met service may be terminated.

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