OEB Announces New Farm Stray Voltage Measures



    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Energy Board (the "Board")
announced amendments to the province's electricity Distribution System Code
(the "Code") related to stray voltage as it affects the farm sector.
    "Farm stray voltage" refers to voltage or current occurring at a location
on the farm where livestock make contact with it and which may have a negative
effect on livestock.
    The Code amendments provide standards and procedures for electricity
distribution utilities to follow, including steps to be taken when responding
to a farm stray voltage complaint.
    Today's amendments mark the completion of the Board's Farm Stray Voltage
Consultation, during which farm customers and a range of other farm industry
stakeholders contributed their views and perspective.

    The Ontario Energy Board regulates the province's electricity and natural
gas sectors in the public interest. It envisions a viable and efficient energy
sector with informed consumers, and works towards this vision through
regulatory processes that are effective, fair and transparent.
    For more information on the Board, please visit our website at
www.oeb.gov.on.ca or contact the Consumer Relations Centre at 416-314-2455 or
toll-free at 1-877-632-2727.

    
    Ce document est aussi disponible en français.


    Backgrounder

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    Farm Stray Voltage

    Why the OEB has   -   On June 22, 2007, the OEB received a Directive
     taken action         from the Minister of Energy (currently Ministry of
                          Energy and Infrastructure) that requires the Board
                          to implement measures the Board considers necessary
                          to address the issue of stray voltage in the farm
                          sector.

                      -   In response to the Minister's Directive, the OEB
                          began a consultation process to solicit input from
                          interested parties regarding stray voltage, its
                          potential impact on the farm sector and the
                          identification of potential measures to mitigate
                          this impact.

    What the Board        Amendments to the Distribution System Code will
     Approved             come into force 90 days from the date they are
                          published on the Board's website.

                          Amendments include:

                      -   Distributors must investigate farm stray voltage
                          complaints using qualified people;

                      -   A specified distributor investigation procedure
                          must be used to determine whether problem levels of
                          farm stray voltage are present and if so, whether
                          the distribution system is contributing in excess
                          of a specified threshold;

                      -   Where a distribution system is found to contribute
                          to stray voltage on a farm in excess of a specified
                          threshold, the distributor must take steps to
                          reduce stray voltage to acceptable levels; and

                      -   Distributors serving livestock farm customers must
                          prepare and make available a farm stray voltage
                          "customer response procedure" that sets out the
                          process for responding to farm stray voltage
                          inquiries and complaints from customers.

    Cost impact       -   The Board believes that codification of the
                          proposed distributor investigation procedure will
                          add somewhat to the cost of distributor farm stray
                          voltage investigations but that these incremental
                          costs will be offset by savings related to avoided
                          re-testing associated with disputed test procedures
                          and results. Therefore, the Board believes that
                          distributor costs will not be affected in a
                          material way.

    For more          -   Details on today's announcement are available via
     information          the Board's website at www.oeb.gov.on.ca. Also, if
                          you have questions regarding the Amendments, please
                          contact Stephen Cain at 416-440-8144. The Board's
                          toll free number is 1-888-632-6273.

    





For further information:

For further information: Paul Crawford, Ontario Energy Board, (416)
440-7607


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