Energy resellers allegedly posing as Toronto Hydro spark complaints

A company that specializes in reselling energy is the subject of some complaints at a Toronto apartment building. Michael Bodmann / Getty Images

TORONTO – A number of tenants and building managers at a Toronto apartment building are complaining about agents from a Mississauga-based hydro reseller company called Summitt Energy.

A resident of Brentwood Towers near Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue tells Global News that agents from Summitt Energy buzzed every unit in the building claiming they were from Toronto Hydro and trying to get access to the building.

“They wanted to come in and talk to everybody because there had been some complaints about their service,” Jean-Francois Page, a resident of the building said.

However, Toronto Hydro agents are not supposed to go door-to-door.

“The key thing is Toronto Hydro does not go door-to-door, neither does the Ontario Energy board,” Tanya Bruckmueller of Toronto Hydro said.

Summitt Energy is a hydro reseller that buys power from the grid and tries to resell it to consumers.

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To resell the power, some residents in the Toronto apartment claim the agents use seemingly aggressive tactics.

“They’re very aggressive, they’re very pushy about it,” Page said.

While Page has not formally complained about Summitt Energy, he says he is prepared to if unfair practices continue.

The recent accusations against Summitt Energy are not the first about the energy reseller.

Since Summitt Energy came into operation in 2006, the Better Business Bureau has had several complaints about the energy reseller.

The bureau gives the company an “F” grade on its website.

One resident of Brentwood Towers, Barry Schacter, told Global News that a contract with Summitt Energy ended up costing him hundreds of dollars in extra fees.

“Over the year, it’s cost me over $600 more being on a contract with Summitt than it was,” Schacter said.

Schachter says he paid a $400 cancellation fee to get out of the contract because of a myriad of hidden fees.

The Ontario Energy Board polices Summitt Energy and has fined the company three times since 2009.

In January 2009, the company paid $70,000 for non-compliance.

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In June 2010, the company was penalized $234,000 plus legal costs because of unfair practices by sales agents.

In June 2012, the company agreed to pay $10,000 in a settlement on another set of non-compliance infractions including agents misrepresenting themselves.

Summitt Energy could not be reached to comment on their dealings with the Ontario Energy Board.

Global News had scheduled two different interviews Friday to speak with Summitt Energy. Minutes before the second scheduled interview, the company said in an e-mail that they had launched an investigation into the accusations.

“As a result of your inquiry…we are conducting an investigation into this matter. At this time the investigation is incomplete and as a result we have no comment,” the statement reads.

A representative of Summitt Energy said the agents at Brentwood Towers who sparked the complaints were sub-contractors of the company.

The Ontario Energy Board tells Global News that no recent complaints have been received about Summitt Energy.

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