Sioux Lookout Hydro takes action to correct billing system error, self-reports to Ontario Energy Board
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout Hydro has self-reported a billing system error to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which OEB says in a June 20 media release, “persisted for several years resulted in some customers being overcharged.”
Sioux Lookout Hydro President/CEO Deanne Kulchyski shared, “The error only affected a small subset of customers. When a customer opens or closes an account, the billing system prorated the fixed charges on the invoice using a 30 day period instead of 31 which created a small error in the amount the customer was charged. The miscalculation involved a total of around 2,700 invoices issued over the last four years. In that time we issued upwards of 135,000 bills. Accurately billing customers is extremely important to us so once the error was discovered, we quickly implemented the necessary changes to our billing system to correct it.”
Sioux Lookout Hydro implemented system changes to correct this issue effective May 17, 2023.
OEB says Sioux Lookout Hydro self-reported the issue in March 2023 after seeing that another distributor had provided an AVC to the OEB in respect of a similar proration error.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) shared that it has accepted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) from Sioux Lookout Hydro Inc.
OEB shared, “Under the terms of this AVC, Sioux Lookout Hydro will contribute $1,162 to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers in need in its service territory. The amount is equivalent to four years of overcharges. The OEB accepted this approach in this case, rather than requiring Sioux Lookout Hydro to provide a credit to customers, given that a four-year credit would be small (about $0.40 per residential customer) and that some of those affected by the billing system error are no longer customers of Sioux Lookout Hydro. Sioux Lookout Hydro will notify current customers of this AVC and of the contribution to LEAP in a form approved by the OEB.”
Sioux Lookout Hydro will also pay an administrative monetary penalty of $750.