Like most companies in our industry, Hydro Ottawa may ask a customer for a security deposit. Security deposits help us to keep our rates as low as possible for all of our customers by decreasing our exposure to unpaid bills.
While Hydro Ottawa’s charges account for less than 25% of the bill, we are responsible for collecting the other 75% on behalf of the other electricity sector organizations for services such as electricity generation and transmission. Hydro Ottawa is required to pay that 75% even before we collect it from customers. Therefore Hydro Ottawa assumes 100% of the risk of non-payment.
A security deposit is required from all business customers.
Security Deposit Application
Calculation of Security Deposit Amount
The amount of your security deposit is calculated using your average bill amount over the most recent 12 consecutive months within the past two years. Your deposit amount will be 2.5 times your average monthly bill. If you have less than 12 months of billing history, we estimate your security deposit amount based on your service size (voltage/amperage) and load type.
Paying by Installments
Your security deposit amount will appear on your electricity bill and must be paid in full. Once the total amount is paid, you will no longer see the security deposit amount on your bill.
Monthly installments, to a maximum of four, are available upon request with one of our Customer Service representatives.
When opening an account, you may qualify for a deposit waiver or reduction based on the following criteria:
- You have already demonstrated a good payment history with Hydro Ottawa or can provide a letter confirming a satisfactory payment history from another electricity or gas Distributor in Canada. Your good payment history must have occurred within the last 24 months and was for the following length of time:
- Less than 50 kW demand: five years
- Greater than 50 kW demand: seven years; or
- You consent to a credit check and achieve a satisfactory credit rating. A $15 charge will be applied to your account for this service.
Security Deposit Reviews
We review all security deposits annually to determine whether the deposit should be adjusted (increased or partially refunded) based on a change in usage and good payment history. Customers may be eligible to have their security deposit amount/requirement reduced if they have established a satisfactory payment history with Hydro Ottawa.
The length of time that a security deposit is held varies by customer class:
- Three years for non-residential customers with less than 50 kilowatt (kW) demand; and
- Seven years for non-residential customers with 50 kW demand or greater.
If your consumption is greater than 5,000 kW, you may be eligible for a security deposit reduction of up to 50% after seven years of good payment history. The remaining balance of the security deposit will be refunded when the account is closed.
Once a good payment history has been established, all or part of the security deposit will be returned with interest.
Good Payment History
A good payment history is not maintained when the following events occur:
- More than one disconnection notice;
- More than one returned payment due to non-sufficient funds;
- Failure to pay more than one pre-authorized payment;
- Disconnection of service for non-payment; or
- Collection of payment for overdue charges.
Interest on these deposits is accrued monthly and credited to your account at least annually. The interest rate is the Prime Business Rate published on the Bank of Canada website, less 2 percent, and is updated quarterly.
More information about our Security Deposit Policy may be found in our Conditions of Service.