Evaluation of Policy on Utility Consolidations

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The OEB has launched a consultation to engage stakeholders to review and update the OEB’s Handbook to Electricity Distributor and Transmitter Consolidations (MAADs Handbook)[1], and associated Filing Requirements for Consolidation Applications.[2]

As noted in the Chief Commissioner 2022-2023 Year-End Update letter, the review will leverage experience to date of the OEB’s approximately 20 consolidation-related decisions issued since the original Handbook was published in 2016.[3] The review is also expected to identify and address any continuing barriers to consolidation while ensuring that customers are protected.

The review will not consider the applicability of the Handbook to natural gas consolidation applications at this time. There are only two current rate regulated natural gas distributors while for electricity there are 58 rate regulated distributors and eight rate regulated transmitters. It may be more appropriate to consider any MAADs for natural gas on a case-by-case basis, though the OEB will consider this further once the current review for the electricity sector has concluded.

As part of the OEB's ongoing review of adjudication policies, the OEB prioritized the consolidation/MAADs review for action in its 2023-2026 Business Plan.

This consultation is also expected to address the recommendations related to consolidations as outlined in the Auditor General of Ontario’s Value for Money audit report, Ontario Energy Board: Electricity Oversight and Consumer Protection.[4]

[1] The MAADs Handbook uses the term consolidation to be inclusive of mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations and divestitures.

[2] Schedule 2 of the MAADs Handbook contains filing requirements for consolidation applications.

[3] While the Handbook is applicable to both electricity distributors and transmitters, most of the OEB’s policies and prior OEB decisions have related to distributors. Transmitters should consider the intent of the Handbook and make appropriate modifications as needed to reflect differences in transmitter consolidations. The MAADs Handbook applies specifically to applications under sections 86(1)(a) and (c) and sections 86(2)(a) and (b) of the OEB Act, which are processed through the OEB’s adjudicative review process. Sections 86(1)(a) and (c) of the OEB Act relate to asset sales and amalgamations. Section 86(2) of the OEB Act relates to voting securities.


The OEB has launched a consultation to engage stakeholders to review and update the OEB’s Handbook to Electricity Distributor and Transmitter Consolidations (MAADs Handbook)[1], and associated Filing Requirements for Consolidation Applications.[2]

As noted in the Chief Commissioner 2022-2023 Year-End Update letter, the review will leverage experience to date of the OEB’s approximately 20 consolidation-related decisions issued since the original Handbook was published in 2016.[3] The review is also expected to identify and address any continuing barriers to consolidation while ensuring that customers are protected.

The review will not consider the applicability of the Handbook to natural gas consolidation applications at this time. There are only two current rate regulated natural gas distributors while for electricity there are 58 rate regulated distributors and eight rate regulated transmitters. It may be more appropriate to consider any MAADs for natural gas on a case-by-case basis, though the OEB will consider this further once the current review for the electricity sector has concluded.

As part of the OEB's ongoing review of adjudication policies, the OEB prioritized the consolidation/MAADs review for action in its 2023-2026 Business Plan.

This consultation is also expected to address the recommendations related to consolidations as outlined in the Auditor General of Ontario’s Value for Money audit report, Ontario Energy Board: Electricity Oversight and Consumer Protection.[4]

[1] The MAADs Handbook uses the term consolidation to be inclusive of mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations and divestitures.

[2] Schedule 2 of the MAADs Handbook contains filing requirements for consolidation applications.

[3] While the Handbook is applicable to both electricity distributors and transmitters, most of the OEB’s policies and prior OEB decisions have related to distributors. Transmitters should consider the intent of the Handbook and make appropriate modifications as needed to reflect differences in transmitter consolidations. The MAADs Handbook applies specifically to applications under sections 86(1)(a) and (c) and sections 86(2)(a) and (b) of the OEB Act, which are processed through the OEB’s adjudicative review process. Sections 86(1)(a) and (c) of the OEB Act relate to asset sales and amalgamations. Section 86(2) of the OEB Act relates to voting securities.


  • OEB Issues 2024 MAADs Handbook

    The OEB’s stakeholder consultation to evaluate its policies on utility consolidations concludes today with the issuance of the 2024 Handbook to Electricity Distributor and Transmitter Consolidations: Rate-making Considerations and Filing Requirements for Consolidation Applications (2024 MAADs Handbook).

    Informed by feedback received from sector participants, the 2024 Handbook reflects updates on OEB policies and filing requirements applicable to consolidations as well as rate-making considerations, accounting and other matters related to consolidating utilities.

    The OEB anticipates that application of the updated policies will create a more predictable regulatory environment for applicants that are considering consolidation, thereby facilitating planning and decision-making. Further, updated requirements pertaining to post-consolidation monitoring and reporting will provide greater transparency during deferred rebasing periods associated with consolidations.

    The OEB extends its thanks to all stakeholders who participated in this consultation.

  • OEB Staff Discussion Paper Issued for Comment

    The OEB has issued for comment a Staff Discussion Paper as part of its consultation to review and update its Handbook to Electricity Distributor and Transmitter Consolidations, and associated Filing Requirements for Consolidation Applications.

    Stakeholders registered to participate in this consultation are invited to provide written comments by February 29, 2024 on all issues addressed in the paper and should also identify any preferred alternatives for addressing the issues. For ease of reference, please separate the comments under the headings as noted in the Paper.

    The OEB will determine next steps for this consultation following its consideration of stakeholder comments.

  • Stakeholder Engagement

    The consultation focus is on electricity distribution-related consolidations. In preparation for external engagement, OEB staff will identify potential areas that may warrant further discussion with stakeholders based on, among other matters, a review of the language in the current MAADs Handbook, and a review of consolidation-related applications and decisions issued since the original MAADs Handbook was published.

    OEB staff intends to meet with stakeholders who express an interest in participating in the consultation process during late summer and early fall. (Materials which will include questions for discussion will be provided to stakeholders prior to the scheduled meetings.)

    The OEB encourages utilities and intervenors who have been involved in consolidation applications, as well as those who have not been involved in such applications but have considered consolidations, to participate. The main purpose of the meetings will be to:

    • Gain insights on experiences in filing and participating in a consolidation application(s).
    • Provide stakeholders with an opportunity to respond to questions and to comment on elements of the OEB’s current MAADs Handbook and filing requirements that they view as requiring modification.
    • Consider any proposed modifications through the lens of what risks/issues OEB policies are intended to resolve and which are for shareholders to manage and address through other means, including the review of incentives to encourage consolidation and whether they are aligned with ratepayer interests.
    • Consider the recommendations related to consolidations as outlined in the Auditor General of Ontario’s Value for Money audit report, Ontario Energy Board: Electricity Oversight and Consumer Protection.


    Depending on the number of responses from parties interested in participating, it is currently anticipated that:

    • OEB staff will meet with a sample size of utilities on a one-on-one basis.
    • Intervenor input will be sought through a small group meeting.
    • A group meeting with any other interested participants will be scheduled, as required


    Specific dates and details regarding engagement meetings will be organized by OEB staff once participation requests have been received.

Page last updated: 18 Jun 2024, 06:26 PM