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Tenants’ Guide to Suite Meters

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What are suite meters?

A suite meter allows tenants to pay their own electricity based on their actual consumption. Suite meters help tenants manage their energy consumption and better participate in Ontario’s conservation efforts.

In fact, studies have shown that suite meters may help tenants to reduce their energy consumption by 12 to 23 per cent.

Landlords can install suite meters in all residential rental units. However, landlords require existing tenants to consent before they can start to bill them for their own electricity use.

What do I need to know?

  • The new legislation will require informed and written consent from existing tenants before landlords can bill them for their electricity use.
  • In private rental units, landlords must reduce the rent by an amount that reflects electricity costs the tenant will have to pay.
  • Landlords will have to meet prescribed energy efficiency standards for refrigerators.
  • Landlords are required to provide the following information to existing tenants when seeking their consent to bill them for their own electricity use:
    • the amount of rent reduction and how it is calculated;
    • the contact information for the suite meter provider and the Ontario Energy Board;
    • the suite meter provider’s fees and charges including any planned increases;
    • the suite meter provider’s security deposit policy if tenants are required to pay a security deposit;
    • the disconnection policy if electricity costs payable by the tenants are overdue;
    • the energy efficiency of the refrigerator, if supplied by the landlords, to help tenants estimate their future energy costs.
  • Tenants will be able to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for remedies if the landlord has breached their obligations around consent, rent reductions, energy standards, or disclosure of information.

When do the suite metering regulations come into effect?

January 1, 2011.

Can I ask my landlord to install a suite meter in my unit?

It is up to the landlord to decide whether to install suite meters in existing buildings. Landlords can approach sitting tenants to obtain their consent to be billed for their electricity use.

Where can I get more information?