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Market Monitoring

The Market Surveillance Panel (MSP or Panel) monitors, investigates and reports on activities and behaviour in the IESO-administered markets in Ontario’s electricity sector. Under the Electricity Restructuring Act, 2004, the Panel was transferred from the IESO to the Ontario Energy Board. The Panel’s mandate is set out in OEB By-law #3, and includes:

  • identifying inappropriate or anomalous market conduct by a market participant, including gaming or abuses of market power;
  • identifying activities of the IESO that may have an impact on market efficiencies or effective competition;
  • identifying actual or potential design or other flaws and inefficiencies in the market rules or the structure of the markets; and
  • assessing whether any one or more specific aspects of the underlying structure of the IESO-administered markets is consistent with the efficient and fair operation of a competitive market.

In 2005, the IESO and the Ontario Energy Board established a Protocol under which the IESO’s Market Assessment Unit (MAU) would continue to assist the MSP. The MAU, which is administered within the IESO’s Market Assessment and Compliance Division (MACD), conducts daily market monitoring on behalf of the MSP. Internal and external data is aggregated and reviewed on a frequent basis and constitutes the first step to assess market activity and participant conduct. The MAU has developed a number of queries to conduct more isolated screening and analysis of data to help identify market trends.

MSP Reports

In order to carry out its responsibilities, the Panel relies on the MAU to monitor the market on a daily basis to identify inappropriate or anomalous conduct by market participants or other activities having an adverse impact on market efficiency or effective competition. The MAU identifies actions by market participants or market outcomes that fall outside of predicted patterns or norms, tries to understand the underlying causes, and reports its findings for further consideration by the Panel. The Panel, in turn, reports its findings in MSP reports, published twice per year.


The MSP is empowered under the Electricity Act, 1998 to conduct investigations into any activity related to the IESO-administered markets or the conduct of a market participant. The outcomes of Panel investigations are reported publicly through MSP Investigation Reports.

Monitoring Documents

In addition to conducting investigations, the Panel develops monitoring documents that provide market participants with guidance regarding the type of behaviour the Panel considers inappropriate and that could result in Panel investigations.

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