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  • What Happens if I Switch Energy or Gas Providers?

“Hi there.  Last week a woman representing a door-to-door energy sales company came to my home with a contract from {REMOVED}. I believe her offer is genuinely but Ive been with my local utilities for as long as Ive owned my home. So Im writting to ask you: who do I call when if I have a problem with my gas line, and is my new gas provider going to give me different kinds of repairs? And does independent sellers charge more for their service? I look forward to your response”

Diane O. Vaughan, ON

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thank you for writing to the Ontario Energy Group’s Consumer Watch, Diane. A lot of homeowners aren’t so hesitant to change service providers because of a worry about pricing, but more so they’re worried that the quality of service they get will change or inconvenience them in some way. Ontario’s energy laws are very clear on the matter, however.  Whether you’re changing your natural gas or electricity providers from your Local Distribution Company (LDC), or changing independent providers, the quality of home service you get won’t change.

Your meters and the physical structure of your gas and electrical utilities will still be managed by whichever LDC previously handled the task. Your new energy contract governs a few key aspects of your billing, but shouldn’t affect who comes to check your meter or address any problems you have. Switching your energy provider isn’t the huge upset that commentators make it out to be.

The primary focus of energy providers, and the purpose of deregulation in general, was to offer more competitive energy rates and more stable price structures than Ontario’s provincial system would allow. So if you’re worried the quality of your utility service will change: don’t worry, by law it can’t.

If you’re still unsure of whether or not to make a decision regarding a contract, or if you have any other questions or comments regarding your experiences as an Ontario energy consumer, we want to hear from you. Your feedback is important for building a more aware Ontario consumer base.

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