Sooner or later, your retail electricity or natural gas contract will reach the end of its term. When that happens, what do you do?
Your Provider Will Send You a Renewal Request
Roughly 2 to 4 months before the termination date of your contract, your provider will send you a packet of forms that will allow you to renew your contract. These forms will include:
- Renewal Form: This form will describe any changes or updates to the previous contract, and an explanation of what to do if you want to renew (or whether automatic renewal is available). There will be a line to sign on if you don’t wish to renew. Two copies of this form will be provided.
- Disclosure Statement and Price Comparison: You will be given two copies of these documents. The disclosure statement explains your rights and how you can cancel the contract. The price comparison sheet will give you a comparison of the contract price versus the price currently being offered by your utility.
Your Contract May Automatically Renew
Your energy contract may be automatically renewed for a term of up to one year if the following four conditions are satisfied:
- The contract is for natural gas service. Electricity contracts cannot be automatically renewed.
- Your new price is not more than the price negotiated in the original contract.
- Your contract offered the option of automatic extension.
- Your contract has not already been extended or renewed.
How to Renew Your Contract
If you decide that you want to renew your contract, you will have to indicate that desire on the renewal form that your provider sends you, sign it and the disclosure statement (and any other required forms they send you), and then return them to your retailer.
Your provider may offer the option of also renewing your contract through their website, by email, or over the phone. If this is done over the phone, your provider will have to use a script approved by the Ontario Energy Board, and will have to send you a copy of this recording upon request.
If you change your mind about renewing, you have 14 days to cancel your renewal without penalty. You can perform this cancellation over the phone or by mail.
Choosing to Allow Your Contract to Expire
If you do not wish to renew your retail energy contract, indicate this on the renewal forms (or contact your retailer by phone or online). When your contract ends, your local utility will become your new energy provider.