Debt Retirement Charge

Frequently Asked Questions


Which users are exempt from paying Debt Retirement Charge (DRC)?

The following users are exempt from the DRC on electricity consumed as follows:

  • status Indians and Indian bands, on their consumption of electricity on a reserve
  • representatives of foreign states and certain international organizations, on their consumption of electricity
  • transmitters and distributors, on electricity lost or unaccounted for when transmitting or distributing electricity
  • self generating users eligible for a station service exemption or an annual exemption
  • users with a resident rate class account.

After December 31, 2015, the following users are eligible for an exemption from the DRC:

  • users with an account that is not in a residential rate class (i.e., the account is in a general service rate class), for up to 1,500 kWh per month multiplied by the number of eligible residential units included in the account, if:
    • the account provides electricity consumed in one or more eligible residential units, and
    • the user gives a notice to their distributor that specifies the number of eligible residential units included in the account.

    An eligible residential unit is a self‑contained set of rooms in a building used or intended for use as a residential premises, and contains kitchen and bathroom facilities for the exclusive use of the unit.

    A kitchen facility is an area intended for food storage/preparation and would normally contain a minimum of: a device to safely refrigerate food, a device to safely cook a variety of food, and a sink with a functioning faucet.

    The start of the exemption depends on when the notice is received by the user's electricity distributor.


Where can I find a sample notice?

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.

The notice must however 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.

Electricity users with a general service‑rate class account must give a notice to their electricity distributor.


How many eligible units can I claim?

A building that is used or intended for use as a residential premises, and that has for example one kitchen and 20 bathrooms that are intended for the use of the building only, would be considered to have one eligible residential unit.

A building that is used or intended for use as a residential premises, and that has for example one kitchen and 5 bathrooms on each floor that are intended for the use of the floor only, would be considered to have one eligible residential unit on each floor.

A building that is used or intended for use as a residential premises, and that has for example 50 apartments each containing a kitchen and bathroom facilities for the exclusive use of the apartment only, would be considered to have 50 eligible residential units.

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