Can multiple penalties be issued or be issued with other compliance or enforcement actions?
Yes. Depending on the facts surrounding a case of non-compliance, when issuing an Administrative Penalty, a Director may:
- Combine an Administrative Penalty with a licensing-related restriction, limitation or condition.
- Combine an Administrative Penalty with a Notice of Non-Compliance/Violation, account block, Order to Disconnect, etc.
- Issue multiple penalties in respect of a single act of non-compliance where that act represents multiple separate contraventions (such as working without a licence and without notifying ESA).
Directors may not:
- Initiate a prosecution in respect of the same contravention for which an administrative penalty has been issued (and paid).
How are Administrative Penalties Assessed?
After a Director has confirmed that an Administrative Penalty is the appropriate action to take they will conduct a two step assessment as per O. Reg. 12/23.
First, a Director will determine what adverse effect, or potential for such an effect, a contravention had on electrical safety. The Director will then use a penalty assessment matrix that will guide them through a consideration of the facts surrounding a case, specifically the aggravating or mitigating factors that may increase or reduce the penalty, including:
- If a person or entity was subject to previous enforcement actions under Part VII of the Act or its regulations (i.e. Warning Letter, Notices of Violation, Terms and Conditions, Licence Suspension/ Revocation, Prosecution, etc.);
- The extent of harm, or the degree of risk of harm, to others or property as a result of the contravention;
- Whether the contravention was deliberate;
- Whether the contravention was repeated or continuous;
- The length of time during which the contravention continued, and;
- Whether the person or entity who committed the contravention derived any economic benefit from the contravention.
How the factors were applied by the decision maker in the penalty calculation will be explained to the party in the Notice of Intention.
What is the process for issuing an Administrative Penalty?
Once a Director has reviewed the evidence provided to them and concluded an Administrative Penalty ought to be issued, a Notice of Intention will be issued to the offending individual. The Notice will describe the particulars of the contravention, the amount of the penalty being proposed, a statement as to how the penalty was assessed and the person’s right to provide (additional) information related to the contravention that the Director may have failed to consider in their initial assessment.
Within 15 days of receiving the Notice of Intent, the party may provide information (in writing) the Director may not be aware of or did not consider when calculating the penalty. Upon receiving the information provided by the party the Director may issue the Order described in the notice, vary the amount or adverse impact tier, or cancel the issuance of the Administrative penalty. If no information is provided then the Director will issue the penalty as described in the Notice of Intent.
Is there an Appeal Process for an Administrative Penalty?
Yes. If a person subject to am Administrative Penalty believes a Director’s decision to issue an Administrative Penalty is incorrect, they may appeal to the Review Panel of the Electrical Safety Authority. To do so, the party must submit a Notice of Appeal to the review panel within 15 days of receiving a penalty order.
The review panel will conduct a hearing and will make a final decision regarding the Administrative Penalty.
For more information, please visit the Reviews and Appeals Process page.
Who maybe subject to an Administrative Penalty?
An individual that has performed, or offered, electrical work that is in contravention to Part VIII of the Electricity Act and/or its regulations, including the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
Are Administrative Penalties a part of the public record?
Yes, the ESA will publish information pertaining to Administrative Penalties deemed to have had a moderate or major adverse effect, or the potential to have such an effect, to electrical safety.
The information that will be published will include at a minimum the party’s name, date of issuance, penalty amount, licensure status, location of the contravention (city/region only) and a description of the contravention. Information will be published for a period of two years.
When must an Administrative Penalty be paid?
An Administrative Penalty is due 30 days after a person receives the order to pay a penalty.
What are the consequences of non-payment of an Administrative Penalty?
If an Administrative Penalty is not paid after 30 days following the date of an order, interest will be applied and the Electrical Safety Authority can initiate collection proceedings.
If the Administrative Penalty is issued to an unlicensed contractor, they could be refused a Master Electrician and/or Electrical Contractor Licence for non-payment. If the Administrative Penalty is issued to a licensee, their licence could be refused renewal, suspended or revoked for non-payment.
What if I cannot afford to pay the penalty?
The purpose of an Administrative Penalty is to encourage compliance, not punish. Therefore, ESA takes your specific circumstances into account. If you cannot make a payment for the full amount at once, you may qualify for a payment plan.
Please contact the specified ESA personnel in your Notice of Intent or Administrative Penalty order to inquire if you qualify for a payment plan.
How will the revenue generated through Administrative Penalties be used by ESA?
The Administrative Penalty Regulation (O.Reg. 12/23) specifies that any revenue the ESA generates from issuing Administrative Penalties can only be used for the following purposes:
- Education initiatives which promote compliance with the Electricity Act and its regulations;
- Consumer awareness, and;
- Electrical safety initiatives for the general public.
If I have further questions regarding the ESAs Administrate Penalties program, who should I contact?
If you have any further questions please send them via email to email@example.com.
If you have questions regarding the appeal process for Administrative Penalties email ESA Reviews and Appeals office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have already received a Notice of Intent or an Administrative Penalty order please contact the ESA personnel specified in the notice/order.
What is an Administrative Penalty?
An Administrative Penalty is a monetary fine that can be imposed on individuals who fail to comply with certain provisions of the Electricity Act, 1998 and/or its regulations.
As an enforcement tool, Administrative Penalties are issued by Statutory Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority under section 113.18.1 of the Electricity Act, 1998 (S.113.18.1) and in accordance with the Administrative Penalties Regulation (O.Reg. 12/23).
Who can impose an Administrative Penalty?
Administrative Penalties are issued by a Statutory Director who has delegated authority under the Part VIII of the Electricity Act, 1998.
Administrative Penalties will not be issued by Inspectors.
What types of contraventions are subject to an Administrative Penalty?
Under S.113.18.1 of the Act, Directors may issue an Administrative Penalty for following three types of contraventions.
- Contravention of an Order — When a Director is satisfied that a person has contravened or is in contravention of an ESA Order, they may issue an administrative penalty. Example: If an ESA Order is issued to a company to disconnect its non-compliant solar equipment, an Administrative Penalty could be issued if that company reconnected that equipment without authorization.
- Contravention of a Restriction, Limitation or Condition Imposed by the Director — When a Director is satisfied that a person has contravened or is in contravention of a restriction, limitation or condition imposed on a Master Electrician and/or Electrical Contractor’s licence, the Director may issue an Administrative Penalty. Example: If a licensee has terms and conditions imposed on their Master Electrician licence and then engage in conduct that violates one of those conditions, a Director may issue a penalty.
- Contravention of One or More Specific Sections of the Act or Regulations — When a Director is satisfied that a person has contravened or is in contravention of one (or more) of the prescribed sections of the Act and its regulations, they may issue an administrative penalty. Most of the prescribed provisions are for licensing and OESC non-compliances. The prescribed provisions that may be subject to a Penalty are listed in the Administrative Penalty regulation (O.Reg. 12/23). Example: If a general contracting business (that is not an LEC) does electrical work at a site and does not notify ESA, a Director may issue an administrative penalty for failure to notify ESA of the work and a penalty for working without a licence.