Just Energy/Universal Energy Contract Renewal Without Consent

Last summer, my wife received a phone call from Just Energy to let us know that the contract was up for renewal as of May 2011. She asked them to mail some information for us to look over and that we did not want to renew until we have had a chance to look over the documents and make a decision. They sent the material, and lord and behold, page 1 said “Just Energy” and page 2 said “Univeral Energy.” I did not want to renew, so I never sent anything back. Today, I called Just Energy to confirm that no renewal was taking place and they said that “we renewed last summer.” We never gave any verbal or written consent to renew any agreement at anytime. I was asked if I wish to dispute the renewal, I told them that I did, and they told me that they will investigate the matter and get back to us in “7-10 days.” Yeah right!

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One thought on “Just Energy/Universal Energy Contract Renewal Without Consent

  1. Unbelievable, what do they need to investigate? YOu're the contract owner and you say NO to renew. It's a done deal.

    Starting from Jan 2011, Energy Consumer Protection Act requires Just Energy and other alternative gas and electricity suppliers in Ontario to do the following when it's time to renew your contract.

    1. Receive a Renewal Package

    Your current supplier is legally obligated to send you a renewal package between 60 and 120 days before the end of your contract term. The package will include new contract options and an explanation of the process for notifying your current supplier if you’re not renewing.

    2. Saying nothing means, "yes"

    Let’s say you don’t want to renew. If you don’t tell your current supplier (preferably in writing – with registered mail) they have the right to automatically renew your contract for one year and will do so. Usually at a new rate and it is pretty high rate, too.

    3. Only you can cancel your contract

    You’re the only person who can cancel your current supply contract. If you sign up with a new supplier they cannot, and will not, make arrangements on your behalf. Click here to view a Renewal Cancellation Template

    4. Beware of gimmicks

    Some alternative gas and electricity suppliers will send you a cheque that, when cashed, automatically binds you into a new contract. Be careful. Before you cash any cheques make sure you understand exactly what you’re agreeing to.

    5. When you cancel, your account moves to your utility

    When you tell your current supplier that you don’t want to renew, they’ll process your cancellation. Regardless of what anyone might say, you will not be left out in the cold. At the end of the contract your account will revert to your utility and you’ll pay their variable market rate unless you sign up with another supplier, or until your contract with a new supplier starts.

    6. You can still cancel even if automatically renewed

    Suppose you accidentally throw out the renewal package, or forget to formally cancel your contract. In that case, you will be automatically renewed. How can you tell if this has happened? Check the first utility bill that has consumption for the month following the end date of your contract. If your rate is different from the current variable market rate of the utility you will know that you have been auto-renewed. Don’t worry all is not lost. If your renewal date is January 1, 2011 or later, Ontario Regulation 389/10 made under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, permits you to cancel the automatic renewal for free at any time. The Regulation also prevents suppliers from automatically renewing you for a second year.

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