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Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution is a process mandated by Chapter 3, Section 2 of the market rules to resolve disputes between parties in the Ontario electricity marketplace, in the most expeditious and least expensive way.

The IESO's Dispute Resolution mechanism is designed to provide for the resolution of a variety of potential disputes:

  • Those disputes that arise under the market rules or certain agreements to which the IESO is a party.
  • Disputes relating to orders by the IESO denying authorization to a prospective market participant or denying registration to a prospective metering service provider.
  • Disputes between market participants, which do not necessarily involve the IESO.

There are potentially three steps in the dispute resolution process:

Good Faith Negotiation

The process begins with good faith negotiations between the disputing parties. The parties will assign a representative to the negotiations who has authority to negotiate the matter in dispute.


If a negotiated agreement is not possible, one of the parties files a Notice of Dispute Form with the Secretary of the Dispute Resolution Panel and then serves it to the other disputants. Parties receiving such a notice must serve and file a Response within 10 days.

At this point, the Secretary appoints a mediator and parties sign a confidentiality agreement. Each party bears its own costs at mediation and shares equally in the cost of the mediation process. If the parties agree to dispense with mediation, the mediation is not successful, or the allotted time runs out, the process then proceeds to arbitration.


The parties select from a list of five arbitrators, or the Secretary appoints, an arbitrator who schedules a hearing. Summaries of the Dispute are made public at this time by publication on the IESO Web site. Directly affected parties may, no less than five days before the hearing, seek to intervene.

The arbitrator will, within 30 days of the end of the hearing, deliver any award that is just and reasonable, and may include, but is not limited to, penalties, damages, and costs. The arbitrator's award is fully enforceable under the law and is subject to the appeal provisions of the Electricity Act, 1998.

All forms related to the steps of the process described here are available on the Dispute Resolution Forms page.

Notice: The posting of submissions on the IESO's Web site is done for the convenience of market participants and other interested visitors to the IESO's site. When requesting or receiving submissions from market participants and/or industry stakeholders, it is the normal practice of the IESO to post the submissions on the IESO Web site. The IESO reserves the right to revise or withdraw any such submission at any time without further notice should the submission include, in the IESO's opinion, any defamatory or other inappropriate provisions. Participants are reminded that all the material that they submit may be published and that, in making a submission, their permission to publish the material is deemed to be granted.

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