Hydro Ottawa’s Conditions of Service is the contract between Hydro Ottawa and its customers that outlines how we do business together.
This document includes information such as rates and billing, financial assistance options, electrical service connections, and technical specifications. This document also references associated Regulations and Codes which govern the services Hydro Ottawa provides, including safety and inspection requirements and roles and responsibilities.
Hydro Ottawa's Conditions of Service (in PDF) is an important reference document for the customers, contractors, developers, retailers, generators and their agents, consultants and suppliers that we do business with on a daily basis.
Effective January 16, 2023, this revised Conditions of Service replaces any pre-existing Conditions of Service document.
The following is a list of Conditions of Service Appendices that provide further background information on specific items.
These documents are identical to the appendices that appear in the full version of the document.
If you are looking for information or the answer to a question, have a look at some key points from our Conditions of Service below.
As a regulated local distribution company (LDC) of electricity in Ontario, Hydro Ottawa Limited (Hydro Ottawa) is required to maintain a Conditions of Service. This document is the implied contract that Hydro Ottawa has with every customer connected to our electricity distribution system.
This Conditions of Service serves as a guide to your rights and responsibilities, as a Hydro Ottawa Customer.
The Conditions of Service also guides Hydro Ottawa's operations and outlines our own rights and responsibilities.
Hydro Ottawa often communicates important account related information by mail, email or telephone. This could include billing information, advance notification of a planned power outage related to an upgrade or maintenance of infrastructure, or a new service offering. Stay informed by keeping your contact information – such as your email address and phone number – up-to-date in your MyAccount profile.
If you need help updating your contact information or registering for MyAccount, let us know. We’d be pleased to help you.
Opening and Closing Accounts
If you are moving to, from or within our service territory and would like to open, close or update an account, please complete our online moving form at least 10 business days prior to your move. An account set-up charge will be applied to your first bill.
Please note that requests to open or close an account received from a third party, such as a lawyer or landlord, must be approved by the customer responsible for the account.
If you’re not sure whether or not your new address falls within Hydro Ottawa’s service territory, use the Ontario Energy Board’s interactive Service Area Map, enter your new address and click the search tool. You can also view our service area by selecting Hydro Ottawa on the right hand panel of the interactive map.
As a Hydro Ottawa customer, you are classified as either a residential or business customer. Residential accounts are those where the electrical service is for personal use, and includes single-family homes, townhouses and individual apartments and condominium units. The various classifications for business customers are determined based on a combination of electricity usage, electrical service size and billing demand.
The delivery charge covers the costs of delivering electricity from generating stations across Ontario to Hydro Ottawa and then to your home or business. It includes the costs to build and maintain transmission and distribution lines, towers and poles, and to operate provincial and local electricity systems.
A portion of these charges are fixed and do not change from month to month. The rest are variable and increase or decrease depending on the amount of electricity that you use.
You have two options for electricity supply.
As a Hydro Ottawa customer, by default, you are billed for electricity based on your rate classification as either a residential or business customer. These rates are set by our regulator, the Ontario Energy Board.
If you sign a contract with an electricity retailer, you will be billed for electricity based on the rate in your agreement with that company.
Regulatory charges and Hydro Ottawa delivery charges are applicable whether you receive your electricity supply from Hydro Ottawa or an electricity retailer.
Late Payment Charges
A late payment charge of 1.50% per month (19.56% annually) is applied to all accounts not paid by the due date.
If you are enrolled in one of our automated payment plans, and a payment is returned due to non-sufficient funds (NSF), a NSF fee and a late payment charge will be applied to your account.
We offer many different ways to pay your bill.
As a condition of service, Hydro Ottawa may request a security deposit from a business customer based on their rate classification and billing history. Security deposits are established and managed in accordance with the OEB's Distribution System Code (DSC).
All power lines are dangerous and could seriously injure anyone who gets too close. To ensure your safety, always keep a safe distance from power lines. This safe distance also applies to tools, recreational devices such as kites and aerial drones, trees and other objects. Restricted zones and other regulations for buildings and structures are in place to keep you safe.
Dig Safe (Underground Cables)
If you are doing any work that involves digging such as installing a fence, planting a tree or excavating for a pool, it’s important to get utility locates before breaking ground to avoid hitting any underground infrastructure. At least five business days before you plan to dig, book a free cable locate by calling Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or by completing an online request.
Access to Equipment
You may see Hydro Ottawa employees and contractors working in your neighbourhood or on your property from time to time. Safe, unhindered and secure access to Hydro Ottawa equipment for inspection, testing, maintenance, or emergency repair is critical. If an obstruction is identified, it may be removed without notice.
We encourage you to be cautious regarding suspicious activity. If someone approaches your door, ask to see identification, including a business card and an identification card with the person’s name and company’s information.
Landscaping can enhance your home and even help save electricity. When planning your project be sure to identify all of the electrical equipment on your property in order to allow Hydro Ottawa safe access when needed.
As an example, three meters (10 feet) of clearance, free of permanent structures and landscaping, must be maintained around a pad-mounted transformer (green box). Information about clearances is available online. Tree planting advice is also available.
When trees are too close to power lines, they can compromise public safety and electricity reliability. As a customer, it is your responsibility to ensure that the overhead power line that delivers electricity to your home is free of obstructions, including vegetation. You may need to hire a licensed forestry contractor to remove vegetation.
Keeping a close eye on tree and vegetation growth is everyone’s responsibility.
If any planned work to the electricity distribution equipment on your property is required, Hydro Ottawa will reinstate outdoor surfaces with sand, gravel, and/or soil once the project is complete. It is your responsibility to repair and/or replace vegetation (e.g., shrubs, trees, lawn, gardens), hard surfaces, structures (e.g., decks, fences, patios, sheds, pools, play structures), foundations and buried, shallow utility services such as telephone, cable or watering systems disrupted by the repair.
Relocation of Hydro Ottawa Equipment
Hydro Ottawa’s electricity distribution system standard is overhead design.
You may request the relocation of Hydro Ottawa equipment. If the relocation of our equipment is feasible, you are responsible for the relocation costs.
Power Interruptions and Surges
From time to time, events beyond our control can cause power interruptions or voltage irregularities. As a result, we cannot guarantee a continuous or constant supply of power and are not liable for any damages caused by a power outage, voltage variation, or power surge. As a precaution, we suggest that you use voltage protection devices to protect your equipment.
There may be occasions when Hydro Ottawa needs to interrupt your electricity supply in order to safely repair, maintain or upgrade our equipment. While our goal is to provide you with advance notice of any power interruptions, there may be some exceptions such as emergency situations. Information on current planned work projects is available online.
If you require an uninterrupted source of power for medical equipment, please ensure you have an alternate source of power in case of a power outage.
Report an Outage
If you spot a downed wire, please stay back at least 33 feet/10 meters (the length of a school bus) and call 911.
If you have livestock and suspect high levels of stray voltage (tingle voltage) on your farm, you may request an investigation.
Access to equipment
Equipment such as satellite dishes, security devices, fencing and signage should not be attached to Hydro Ottawa’s equipment or structures without prior written approval from Hydro Ottawa. Contact our Service Desk to submit a request.
If a Hydro Ottawa employee identifies an obstruction, it may be removed without notice.
If you are a residential customer and need to determine whether a piece of equipment is owned by you or Hydro Ottawa, refer to our Home Electrical System diagram.
If you are a business customer and need to determine whether a piece of equipment is owned by you or Hydro Ottawa, refer to the Conditions of Service.
Number of Services to a Property
Hydro Ottawa allows one electrical service supply point per property. A supply point refers to the point of connection between customer-owned equipment and Hydro Ottawa’s electricity distribution system. This supply point could be located on the public road allowance or a nearby property from which Hydro Ottawa has land access rights.
For both primary and secondary services, Hydro Ottawa will normally designate one supply point per property at a single supply voltage. This could be an underground cable chamber, pole, or pad-mounted device. This supply point could also be located on an adjacent property for which Hydro Ottawa has land rights.
When it is not technically feasible or excessive costs to the customer will apply, Hydro Ottawa, at its sole discretion, may permit additional supply points. Hydro Ottawa does not provide additional supply points on a property for infill developments such as coach houses.
If the electrical service is connected to an adjacent property, Hydro Ottawa will not provide another supply point unless the initial electrical connection is removed.
Hydro Ottawa's Standard Voltage Offerings
Depending on the type of distribution system equipment in place, the preferred secondary voltage may include:
- 120/240 V, 1-phase, 3-wire,
- 120/208 V, 3-phase, 4-wire, grounded wye connected**,
- 120/208 V, 2-phase, 3-wire, grounded wye connected ++, or
- 347/600 V, 3-phase, 4-wire, grounded wye connected.
Depending on location, the following primary services may be made available:
- 4,160/2,400 V grounded wye connected; or
- 8,320/4,800 V grounded wye connected; or
- 7,200/12,400 V grounded wye connected; or
- 13,200/7,600 V (transformer rating at 12,800/7400 V) grounded wye or delta connected depending on location; or
- 27,600/16,000 V grounded wye connected; or
- 44,000 V delta connected.
** Supplied from padmount transformer or vault transformers on property
++ For large residential buildings only
If a primary service is installed, the primary service connection must meet the standards found in Appendix F.
Electrical Service Upgrades
Any maintenance, repair or upgrade to customer-owned electrical service equipment requires an Electrical Safety Authority permit. In addition, non-standard electrical service equipment configurations must meet Hydro Ottawa’s current technical servicing standards.
Hydro Ottawa will connect Embedded Generators or Distributed Energy Resources where it is technically possible. The technical requirements for embedded Generation or Distributed Energy Resources are set out in our Embedded Generation Technical Guideline (ref: ECG0006) and Revenue Metering Specification (ref: GCS0008).
Generation Design Specifications
To help ensure that the design and construction process is as efficient and problem-free as possible, Hydro Ottawa provides standard construction drawings free of charge to developers, contractors and consultants.
Hydro Ottawa maintains the electrical service voltage at your supply point in compliance with Canadian Standards Association's guidelines (CAN3-C235). When voltages are outside the acceptable limits, we will take appropriate steps based on the nature of the situation, to improve or correct these issues.
Most customers and developers are required to sign an Installation and Service Agreement when they apply to connect an embedded generation project to Hydro Ottawa's electricity distribution system. Once the agreement is signed and the Electrical Safety Authority has approved the project, your project will be connected. Some services associated with an embedded generation project may be requested directly online.
Net metering allows you to reduce your monthly electricity costs by generating your own electricity from a renewable energy source, such as wind, water, solar and agricultural biomass.
If you are considering becoming a net metering customer, please ensure you are eligible.
Legacy Feed-In-Tariff and microFIT Programs
With the achievement of its renewable generation procurement target, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is no longer accepting applications for its Feed-In-Tariff or microFIT programs. However, you may still be in a contract with the IESO for the power your FIT or microFIT facility is delivering to the electricity grid.
The IESO’s website has information related to your microFIT contract, including program documents, contract management and buying or purchasing a home with a microFIT facility.
Request a Service
Contact Hydro Ottawa to confirm your plan for construction or renovation. More information can be found on our ‘’Electrical Service Requests’’ page for residential or business customers.
If your electrical equipment requires repair, information and tips are available online. There may be a charge to isolate and re-energize the service.
An inspection by the Electrical Safety Authority will be required prior to the re-energization of your electrical service.
Keep your renovation project safe and efficient. Our Renovation Guide includes an electrical services check-list, tips for hiring a contractor and frequently asked questions.
It’s also important to be aware of power line clearance standards when undertaking any project such as tree trimming or building a permanent structure such as a fence or shed in proximity of overhead or underground power lines.
To help ensure your design and construction project is as efficient and problem-free as possible, standard construction drawings are available free of charge to developers, contractors and consultants.
Electrical Design Prepayment
An advance prepayment may be required in order to initiate and perform an electrical design review in preparation of an offer to connect.
Our Customer Service representatives are available online, by email at [email protected], by telephone at 613-738-6400 Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays). Live Chat is also available at hydroottawa.com/my account (login required) Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays).
If you are undertaking a construction project that requires changes to your electrical service or adjacent electrical services, contact our Service Desk. Representatives are available by phone at 613-738-6418, Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays).
Report an Outage
Customers can report a power outage 24/7 online (login required) or by calling 613-738-0188.
If you spot a downed wire, please stay back (at least 33 feet/10 meters) and call 911.
Vault Maintenance Requests
Hydro Ottawa provides customers with access to each of their vaults for non-electrical work free of charge once per rolling 12 month period. To book a vault shutdown or access appointment, please call 613-738-5499 ext. 7185 or email [email protected].
More information is available here.
Conservation incentive programs are available to make your home or business more energy efficient.
Street lighting inquiries should be directed to the City of Ottawa either online or by calling 311.