Rights and Responsibilities of Collectors

Collectors defined

Collectors include:

  • distributors, retailers and others who sell or supply electricity to a user
  • the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).


Starting May 1, 2002, all distributors and retailers of electricity must register with the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) Program before selling or supplying electricity.

Charging and collecting DRC

Collectors are required to charge and collect DRC from customers at the correct rate. Please refer to Guide 101 - Debt Retirement Charge - General Information for DRC rates.

When calculating DRC, round the amount to the nearest whole cent. If the calculation results in a half a cent or more, round up to the next cent.


On each invoice, separate the amount of DRC charged and describe this charge as the 'Debt Retirement Charge' or 'DRC'. Include the following statement when charging DRC: 'The debt retirement charge pays down the debt of the former Ontario Hydro'.

The Ministry of Energy has additional invoicing requirements that are effective January 1, 2016. Contact the Ministry of Energy at write2us@ontario.ca for further information.

Supporting exempt sales

You must keep Exemption Certificates, as well as documentation provided to prove that a person is not required to pay the DRC.

Please refer to Guide 104 - Exemption Certificates, Guide 108 - Status Indians, Indian Bands and Band Councils, Guide 110 - Debt Retirement Charge Exemption for Eligible Residential Units and Guide 101 - Debt Retirement Charge - General Information.


Collectors are required to meter electricity generated for own use or purchased exempt from DRC for own use.

There may be circumstances where installing a meter to measure electricity consumption is not feasible. The Ministry of Finance may authorize a collector to estimate the consumption of electricity rather than install a meter. Please contact the Debt Retirement Charge Program at the numbers listed at the end of this guide for more information.

Completing DRC returns

When completing DRC returns for the period covered by the return, be sure to include:

  • DRC collectable on the sale or supply of electricity during the period covered by the return, whether or not the customer has paid for it in full
  • DRC payable on electricity which is consumed by you or by another person at your expense where it was purchased exempt of DRC or was self-generated. See Guide 102 - Rights and Responsibilities of Self-Generating Users.

Filing DRC returns

You are required to file completed returns and remit payment by cheque or money order payable to the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (OEFC) by the due date shown on the return. The cheque should be drawn in Canadian funds on a Canadian financial institution.

Returns must be filed even where there is no activity or DRC to report. If you do not receive a return, you are still required to provide the return information to the Ministry of Finance, with payment, by the regular due date.

Changes to your business

You should notify the Ministry of Finance of any changes such as:

  • a sale or discontinuance of the business
  • changes to the legal or trade name, address, or contact person
  • changes to the legal structure such as an amalgamation or the creation of, or changes to, a partnership
  • changes to the way the business sells, supplies or consumes electricity.

Directors' liability

Directors of a corporation may be held jointly and severally liable for DRC owing if the corporation:

  • fails to collect DRC
  • collects DRC but does not remit it to the OEFC
  • fails to pay any interest or penalty relating to DRC.

Books and records

You must keep books and records with enough information to support the amount of DRC charged, collected, payable and remitted.

You can keep records manually or electronically. Electronic records must be in a format that will provide an exact copy of the original.

Examples of books and records that you should keep include:
  • amount of electricity generated, purchased, acquired, sold or supplied
  • amount of DRC paid on purchases
  • amount of DRC collected on sales
  • amount of DRC payable on own use
  • amount of DRC remitted to the OEFC
  • amount of electricity consumed
  • names and addresses of suppliers
  • names and addresses of persons to whom you sold or supplied electricity
  • exemption certificates
  • written notice received from users with eligible residential units claiming exemption from DRC for up to 1,500 kWh per eligible residential unit.


You may refund DRC collected if:

The refund must be made within four years after the person paid it.

If you refund DRC, you may adjust your next DRC remittance or apply for a refund from the Ministry of Finance. Adjustments or applications for refunds to the ministry must be made within four years from the date you made the refund.

Download the Application for Refund of the Debt Retirement Charge, or contact the Debt Retirement Charge Program at the numbers listed at the end of this guide.

Dispute resolution

If you disagree with a DRC assessment, or a disallowance of a DRC refund, you may file a Notice of Objection with the Ministry of Finance's Advisory, Objections, Appeals and Services Branch within 180 days from the mailing date of the Notice of Assessment or Statement of Disallowance. To obtain a Notice of Objection form:

  • download the form Notice of Objection
  • call the Advisory, Objections, Appeals and Services Branch at 1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668‑8297)
  • contact any Ontario Ministry of Finance Tax Office
  • contact the Debt Retirement Charge Program at the numbers listed at the end of this guide.

Right to appeal

If you are not satisfied with the ministry's decision on the Notice of Objection, you may file a Notice of Appeal. The Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Superior Court of Justice and a copy of the Notice of Appeal served on the Minister of Finance within 90 days from the date the ministry's decision on the Notice of Objection was mailed.

More information


  • 1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297)
  • 1 800 263-7776 for teletypewriter (TTY)

Written interpretation

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.

Legislative references

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

  • Ontario Regulation 541/05 (Net Metering)
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