IPSP participant funding information

The OPA is committed to engaging with Ontarians across as broad a spectrum as possible, including community leaders, First Nations and Métis people, the public, customers, associations, transmission and local distribution companies, generators and others with an interest in the electricity industry.

The OPA provides funding to eligible stakeholders to help offset some of the costs associated with preparing for and attending IPSP sessions. 

Even if you are considered for funding, this does not guarantee attendance at the stakeholder sessions, which will require online pre-registration on a first-come first-served basis.

All sessions will also be broadcast and archived as web-enabled teleconferences and will be open to all stakeholders.

Eligibility

  1. The OPA will determine the eligibility of participants for funding based on the Ontario Energy Board’s “Practice Direction on Cost Awards”.

    The following participants may be eligible for funding if they meet one of these criteria:

    a)      primarily represent the direct interests of consumers (e.g., ratepayers) in relation to electricity services;
    b)      primarily represent a public interest relevant to the OPA’s mandate; or
    c)      are a person with an interest in land that is affected by the process.

  2. Transmitters, wholesalers, generators, distributors, and retailers of electricity, either individually or in a group; transmitters, distributors, and marketers of natural gas, and gas storage companies, either individually or in a group; parties with direct commercial or business interests; and the Independent Electricity System Operator are not eligible for funding.
     
  3. Staff members or representatives of municipal or provincial governments are not eligible for funding.
     
  4. Non-residents of Ontario are not eligible for funding.  

Funding principles

  1. The OPA will fund travel and accommodation of only one eligible representative per funded participant per session. The OPA must be notified in advance in the event that an alternate is to participate in a session. It is the organization’s choice which representative it sends to each session.

  2. The burden of establishing eligibility for a cost award is on the participant.
     
  3. Groups with common interests are encouraged to combine their participation or show cause as to why separate funding is justified.
     
  4. Participants are requested to complete the IPSP Stakeholder Participant Funding Application Form. This form must be completed and submitted electronically to: IPSPfunding@powerauthority.on.ca no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 2011. Applicants will be notified as to whether they have been approved as a funded participant or their application has been denied on or before 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Please note, the earlier a complete application is submitted, the earlier notice of acceptance/rejection will be communicated. The list of funded participants will be posted to the OPA website.
     
  5. Within 30 calendar days of attending a stakeholder session, funded participants must submit the IPSP Stakeholder Session Expense Claim Form for Reimbursement. This form summarizes travel and accommodations and third-party expenses. A separate expense form must be completed for each stakeholder session attended.
     
  6. The IPSP Stakeholder Session Expense Claim Form for Reimbursement must be mailed with original receipts attached.

Funding categories

Funding will be provided for funded participants for the following categories of expenses:

1.                  Travel and accommodation
2.                  Reimbursement of third-party expenses for expert technical professional advice

Travel and accommodation

Travel and accommodation expenses will be paid in accordance with the Ontario government’s Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expense Directive issued on April 1, 2010. Expense claims may only be submitted when the participant’s place of business is greater than 100 kilometres from the meeting site.

Travel

Airplane

Air travel is permitted when it is the most practical and economical way to travel. An economy (coach) fare is the standard and allowed option for ticket purchases.

Train

Travel by train is permitted when it is the most practical and economical way to travel. An economy (coach) fare is the standard and allowed option for ticket purchases.

Vehicle

Travel by road transportation is permitted when it is the most practical and economical way to travel. A rental vehicle should be considered for trips estimated to be in excess of 200 kilometres as this option may be more economical than the use of a personal vehicle. When renting a vehicle, a compact model or its equivalent is required. If a personal vehicle is used, the OPA will pay 40 cents per kilometre for Southern Ontario stakeholders and 41 cents per kilometre for Northern Ontario stakeholders. If using a personal vehicle, daily logs must be maintained to track business use for reimbursement purposes.

The costs of taxis to and from airports will be accepted.

Accommodation

Where overnight accommodation is required to attend a session, a room with single occupancy at the most economical rate is required.

Other

No other expenses will be reimbursed, such as tips and gratuities, personal care and telecommunication charges.

Meals will not be funded outside of the sessions.

Reimbursement of third-party expenses for expert technical professional advice

Third parties who are retained to carry out work for a funded participant will be funded hourly at the rate set out in Appendix A of the OEB’s “Practice Direction on Cost Awards” June 2009. A maximum of $4,000 may be awarded for the entire IPSP pre-filing consultation process under this category of funding.

The provision of expert technical professional advice by a party who is not an employee or officer of the funded participant may qualify for funding. Eligible expenses include legal fees and consultant fees.  Consultants are experts in aspects of business or science such as finance, economics, accounting, engineering or the natural sciences such as geology, ecology and agronomy.

If you require clarification about eligible third-party expenses, please contact Cindy Roks at the email and telephone number listed below. The determination of whether third-party expenses are eligible for funding is at the sole discretion of the OPA. 

Costs claims

  1. Itemized and original invoices and proof of payment must be provided (credit card slips are not sufficient).
     
  2. Cost claims must be submitted within 30 calendar days of attending the stakeholder session.
     
  3. The IPSP Stakeholder Session Expense Claim Form for Reimbursement is available here. Completed forms must be submitted by mail directly to:

    Mary Ann Kightley, Communications
    Ontario Power Authority
    120 Adelaide Street West, Suite 1600
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5H 1T1

  4. The determination of whether expenses are eligible for funding is at the sole discretion of the OPA.