Ontario Energy Board accepts Assurance of Voluntary Compliance from XOOM Energy ONT, ULC
TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2023 /CNW/ - The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from XOOM Energy ONT, ULC (XOOM Energy), a licensed energy retailer selling electricity and natural gas under contract. The AVC follows an inspection into XOOM Energy's compliance with certain legal and regulatory requirements for energy retailing that apply to contracting with low volume (residential and small business) consumers.
Under the terms of the AVC, XOOM Energy will revise its contracts and price comparison forms to more clearly describe its pricing. XOOM Energy will also provide current low volume customers the option to cancel their contracts without penalty and pay an administrative monetary penalty of $15,000.
The inspection, which was undertaken following an enquiry by the company, found that XOOM Energy's contracts and associated price comparison forms for low volume consumers did not adequately disclose to prospective (or renewing) customers the manner in which the variable price for electricity or gas would be calculated. As such, XOOM Energy engaged in an unfair practice under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 regarding its contracts, and did not comply with the OEB's electricity and gas Codes of Conduct for energy retailers in relation to the presentation of its price comparisons.
Through the AVC, in a manner satisfactory to the OEB, XOOM Energy has agreed to adjust its contracts and price comparison forms for low volume consumers to include a clearer description of how prices are calculated and may change throughout the term of a contract.
Within 60 days of the OEB's acceptance of the AVC, XOOM Energy will notify its existing low volume gas and electricity customers of the changes and include the updated contract and price comparison form. Those customers will be given the option of continuing with the contract or cancelling the contract with no penalty.
An AVC is a binding commitment by a regulated entity to take measures to rectify or prevent non-compliance. Failure to abide by the terms of an AVC can lead to enforcement action being taken by the OEB.
"Energy retailers must be fully transparent when presenting contract offers for electricity or natural gas to prospective customers. If they offer a variable price, they must clearly explain when and how the price may change. With the steps XOOM Energy is taking, customers will better understand what they would pay under the contract. " – Brian Hewson, Vice-President, Consumer Protection & Industry Performance
Additional Information and Resources
Read the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance – XOOM Energy ONT, ULC (EB-2022-0143)
Learn about Energy Contracts
See the OEB's Tip Sheet with important information about energy contracts
Learn about the OEB's Compliance and Enforcement Process
Understand the OEB's Consumer Complaint Process
About the Ontario Energy Board
The OEB is the independent regulator of Ontario's electricity and natural gas sectors. It protects the interests of consumers and supports the collective advancement of the people of Ontario. Its goal is to deliver public value through prudent regulation and independent adjudicative decision-making which contributes to Ontario's economic, social and environmental development.
For more information, please visit the OEB website at oeb.ca or contact us directly.
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SOURCE Ontario Energy Board
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