Status Indians, Indian Bands and Band Councils
This guide will explain how Status Indians, Indian bands and band councils may claim an exemption from the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) on electricity consumed on a reserve.
A reserve is defined under the federal statute, the Indian Act (Canada). This definition is used for DRC purposes, and also includes a settlement located on Crown land in which Status Indian residents are treated by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada) in the same manner as Status Indians living on a reserve.
Status Indians can purchase electricity for consumption on a reserve exempt from DRC.
Indian bands and band councils also qualify for an exemption from DRC on electricity purchased and consumed on a reserve.
Purchases of electricity subject to DRC
Status Indians living off-reserve are required to pay DRC on their consumption of electricity. Indian bands and band councils purchasing electricity for consumption off-reserve must also pay DRC.
Electricity sold on a reserve to anyone other than Status Indians, Indian bands and band councils is subject to DRC. DRC exemptions for Status Indians, Indian bands and band councils are not available to corporations owned by Status Indians, Indian bands, and band councils. Corporations are required to pay DRC on their consumption of electricity.
How to claim the exemption
Status Indians should present their federal "Certificate of Indian Status" identification card to their electricity supplier, or provide the following information from their card to their electricity supplier:
- their name
- the band name or registry number and
- the federal identification card number
Indian bands and band councils must issue a properly completed Exemption Certificate to their supplier when claiming the exemption.
Responsibilities of collectors for exempt sales
Collectors will obtain the following information from exempt users:
- for electricity sold or supplied to Status Indians residing on a reserve record the users' name, band name or registry number and federal identification card number;
- for electricity sold or supplied to an Indian band or band council consuming electricity on a reserve, obtain a properly completed Exemption Certificate.
If collectors do not receive the necessary documentation, they are required to charge and collect DRC.
Refunds by collectors
Status Indians, Indian bands and band councils who paid DRC in error may request a refund of DRC directly from the collector.
Collectors may refund DRC if:
- an error is made in the amount of DRC charged and collected
- the person purchasing the electricity provides information or documentation to support the refund (e.g., Exemption Certificate or identification card)
- the request for refund is made within four years of the date the DRC was paid in error.
Refunds by Ministry of Finance
Status Indians, Indian bands and band councils who have paid DRC in error and who cannot obtain a refund from their distributor or retailer may apply to the Ministry of Finance for a refund within four years of the date the DRC was paid in error.
You may download the Application for Refund of the Debt Retirement Charge.
DRC is governed by Part V.I of the Electricity Act, 1998 and it's Regulations 493/01 (Rates and Exemptions), 494/01 (Administration), 160/99 (Definitions and Exemptions); and Regulation 541/05 (Net Metering) under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.
The information contained in this guide is not intended to replace the legislation.
- 1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297)
- 1 800 263-7776 for teletypewriter (TTY)
To obtain a written interpretation on a specific situation not addressed in this guide, please send your request in writing to:
Ministry of Finance
Advisory, Objections, Appeals and Services Branch
33 King Street West
Oshawa ON L1H 8H5