OEB Releases Discussion Paper on Farm Stray Voltage

    TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ - Today the Ontario Energy Board (the Board) issued
a Board staff Discussion Paper entitled Farm Stray Voltage: Issues and
Regulatory Options. The Discussion Paper provides information on farm stray
voltage and its potential impact on farm operations; on measures distributors
can use to mitigate contributions to farm stray voltage from distribution
systems; and on approaches other jurisdictions have used to address this
issue. The Discussion Paper sets out staff views on the main issues arising
from the farm stray voltage consultation, and provides, for the purpose of
stakeholder discussion and written comment, proposed options that could form
the basis for a regulatory framework, elements of which could be implemented
to address farm stray voltage in Ontario.
    The Discussion Paper was prepared in relation to the Board's Farm Stray
Voltage consultation process, initiated by the Board in response to a
Directive from the Ontario Minister of Energy requiring the Board to implement
such measures as the Board considers necessary to address the issue of stray
voltage as it affects the farm sector.
    The purpose of the consultation process is to solicit input from
interested parties regarding stray voltage, its potential impact on the farm
sector and the identification of measures that could be implemented by the
Board to mitigate this impact. As part of the consultation process Board staff
formed a Farm Stray Voltage Consultative Group consisting of representatives
of farm customers, electricity distributors, and other stakeholder groups with
experience in some aspect of stray voltage and its effects on farm operations.
In meetings across the province held in the fall of 2007, Board staff met with
farm customers, farm equipment and service suppliers, representatives of farm
organizations, and current and former distribution utility personnel among
others. A stakeholder consultation conference was held in Toronto on
December 5, 2007. In addition, reports were commissioned by Board staff from
three expert consultants. The Discussion Paper (in English and French) and
consultants' reports (Executive Summaries are provided in French) are
available online at www.oeb.gov.on.ca.
    The Board is requesting that stakeholders' written comments be sent to
the Board Secretary by July 11, 2008. Stakeholder comments received on this
Discussion Paper will serve as an input to further the work of Board staff in
formulating policy proposals for Board members to consider.

    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.

For further information:

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

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