This guide is for electricity users with a general service-rate class account who may be eligible for an exemption from the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) for an amount of electricity consumed in one or more eligible residential units.
Eligible residential unit defined
An eligible residential unit means a unit that:
- is a self‑contained set of rooms located in a building or structure
- contains kitchen and bathroom facilities that are intended for the use of the unit only, and
- is used or intended for use as a residential premises.
An electricity user is eligible for a DRC exemption of up to 1,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month multiplied by the number of eligible residential units included in the account if:
- the user has an account that is not in a residential-rate class (i.e., the account is in a general service‑rate class)
- the account provides electricity consumed in one or more eligible residential units, and
- the user gives a notice to their electricity distributor that specifies the number of eligible residential units included in the account.
For an account, the amount of electricity exempt from the DRC is the lesser of:
- 1,500 kWh per month multiplied by the number of eligible residential units included in the account, and
- the user's consumption of electricity in the month.
The electricity user must still pay the DRC on any electricity above the exempt amount for that account.
How to claim this DRC exemption
To claim this DRC exemption for an account, electricity users with a general service-rate class account must give a notice to their electricity distributor.
The notice must include all of the following information:
- the user’s name, address and account number
- a statement that the account provides for electricity that is consumed in at least one eligible residential unit
- the number of eligible residential units included in the account
- a statement certifying that the information contained in the notice is complete and accurate, and that the user will promptly notify the distributor or the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), as the case may be, if any of the information changes
- a statement acknowledging that it is an offence to make a false or deceptive statement in a document submitted under Part V.1 (Debt Retirement Charge) of the Electricity Act, 1998, and
- the name and signature of the user or of an individual authorized by the user to give the notice on the user’s behalf, and the date of the signature.
The ministry has not created a form to be used to provide the notice. Electricity distributors have the flexibility of gathering the required information in their preferred format.
Electricity users with a general service‑rate class account should contact their electricity distributor to find out how to give the notice. Market participants should contact the IESO.
Electricity users must promptly give a revised notice to their distributor if the number of eligible residential units included in the account changes.
Effective date of the exemption
If the electricity distributor receives the notice from the electricity user:
- before January 1, 2016, the DRC exemption begins January 1, 2016
- on or after January 1, 2016, the DRC exemption begins:
- on the first day of the billing period in which the notice is received (but not before January 1, 2016), or
- the first day of the next billing period, if the notice is received within 10 days of the end of the billing period.
- 1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297)
- 1 800 263-7776 for teletypewriter (TTY)
To obtain a written interpretation on a specific situation not addressed in this guide, please send your request in writing to:
Ministry of Finance
Advisory, Objections, Appeals and Services Branch
33 King Street West
Oshawa ON L1H 8H5
Disclaimer and references
The information provided in this guide is not intended to replace the legislation.
Electricity Act, 1998, Part V.1 (Debt Retirement Charge)
- Ontario Regulation 493/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Rates and Exemptions)
- Ontario Regulation 494/01 (Debt Retirement Charge - Administration)
- Ontario Regulation 160/99 (Definitions and Exemptions)
- Ontario Regulation 89/12 (Residual Stranded Debt)
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, and its regulations.