Enbridge to Wind Down Open Bill Program

Last week, Enbridge Gas Inc. (Enbridge) notified interested parties of its intention to wind down the open bill program, effective December 31, 2023. The company declared that the long-standing service is no longer consistent with the utility’s strategic direction.

On June 1st, at its annual open bill stakeholder meeting, Enbridge provided a high-level overview of the program wind down and next steps, but many details of the process remain to be determined. The utility made it clear that its decision was firm and that, in consideration of the potential impacts on billers, it would allow a generous 18-month wind-down period, much more than what it would be obliged to do under the legal terms of the open bill program (Enbridge has always reserved the right to terminate the program and is under no regulatory obligation to continue).

The current open bill program serves just under 100 billers, most of them HVAC companies based in the GTA.  According to the utility’s reports, about 96% of (non-utility) customer charges on the utility are held by 10 companies, and 88.5% are held by the top three.  When it was introduced more than ten years ago, HRAI actively promoted the program to members and some have found the program to be helpful to their business.  But the program has not broadened out to the level that was originally envisioned and desired by the utility and other industry stakeholders.

Enbridge has also stated that, following the June 1 annual meeting with stakeholders, it would initiate the process for program termination transition set out in the Open Bill Agreement, including consultation meetings regarding the transition plan.

For more information, contact Chelsea Goberdhan at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 236, or email cgoberdhan@hrai.ca

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