We are required to do locates whenever we’re doing excavation work on a client’s property. For this, we request a locate of utilities like hydro, gas, and communications lines, so that we can safely dig without disturbing underground wires or pipes.
This week, Enbridge announced they will begin charging a new $200 fee for these locates. We strongly oppose this charge, but will have to pay it beginning May 2023.
As a result, we have had to increase our Locate charge up to $350 to cover the staff time and costs. We regret this increase in our pricing, as it adds an unfair burden for homeowners hiring contractors for smaller or mid-sized outdoor construction project.
The text of the original announcement from Enbridge follows:
On April 14, 2022, the Getting Ontario Connected Act was passed into law, and resulted in major changes to the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act which governs how underground facilities are located in Ontario. The legislative changes aim to remove barriers to timely locate delivery, improve and streamline compliance, and enhance Ontario One Call’s powers.
Historically, Enbridge Gas has completed gas facility locates at no direct charge to locate requestors. As a result of these legislative changes, Enbridge Gas has made significant investments in associated operational improvements.
To ensure that our gas distribution service customers are protected from incurring the costs of services rendered to other parties, Enbridge Gas will be implementing a new locate delivery charge. This charge will be applied directly to third-party contractors and other utilities who make these locate request.
What is Changing?
Effective May 1, 2023, Enbridge Gas (including its Ontario based affiliates), will begin to directly charge third-party contractors and other utilities for their utility locates. Enbridge Gas will apply a charge of $200 CAD (plus applicable taxes) per locate request where a field locate (paperwork and ground markings) is completed by Enbridge Gas.
Locates requested by property owners for a property where they or their tenant reside, will not be subject to this charge.
Please see the Charging for Locates FAQ for more details.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Under what circumstances will requestors be charged for locates?
Enbridge Gas will charge third-party contractors and other utilities for each utility locate request that Enbridge Gas responds to where a field locate (paperwork and ground markings) is completed. Locates requested by property owners, for a property where they or their tenant reside, will not be subject to a direct charge. However third-party contractors and other utilities who request a locate for work at a property on behalf of the property owner or their tenant, will be subject to this charge upon completion of the locate paperwork and ground markings.
Third-party contractors and other utilities using a third-party dedicated locator approved to locate Enbridge Gas assets (including those of its Ontario based affiliates) will be charged by the dedicated locator and not Enbridge Gas.
What happens if I receive a clearance for Enbridge Gas on my locate request?
Enbridge Gas does not charge for locate requests where there are no Enbridge Gas assets in the locate area and a clearance is issued.
Excavators should request locates for as precise an area as possible relative to their work plan to increase the potential that a clearance can be issued.
Will I be charged for remarks and relocates?
Enbridge Gas will charge for remark/relocate requests where a field locate (paperwork and ground markings) is completed.
Excavators should plan their work start date based on the timelines of their locate request to reduce the potential that their locates will expire before they start work.
Excavators should follow all third-party requirements associated with preserving and maintaining locate markings to reduce the potential that the locates will require remarks.
Are homeowners or tenants charged for locates?
Locates requested by a property owner, for a property where they or a tenant reside, will not be subject to a direct charge, however third-party excavation contractors and other utilities will be subject to a charge.
Can a homeowner undertaking work on their property request a locate for their contractor to avoid incurring charges?
No. It is the responsibility of the excavator undertaking the ground disturbance to request the locates.
What forms of payment are accepted?
Enbridge Gas accepts credit card payments (through an individual link generated when the charge is issued) or payments by cheque made payable to Enbridge Gas, Accounts Payable.
Enbridge Gas does not accept cash payments.
Can I add the charge to my gas bill?
We are not offering the ability to add locate delivery charges onto our natural gas bills.
I am a customer of Enbridge Gas, does that mean I still need to pay for a locate?
Enbridge Gas customers that request locates for work on their own property where they or their tenant reside, will not be charged. Enbridge Gas customers who operate as excavators or are requesting locates for work outside of their own residential property will be subject to the locate charge.
Who do I contact for disputes about my locate charge?
For any disputes related to your Enbridge Gas locate charge you can email email@example.com.
When are my locate charge payments due?
Invoices for locate charges will be issued on a monthly basis with payment required within 45 calendar days from the invoice date.
Do I still need to pay for the locate if it wasn’t delivered within five (5) business days?
Yes. Upon placing your locate request through Ontario One Call for which Enbridge Gas is required to locate its underground assets, you will be charged whenever a field locate (paperwork and ground markings) is completed.
Enbridge Gas makes every practicable effort to respond to locate requests within five (5) business days. The charge is required to cover the cost of our locate services.
To support timely completion of locate request responses, Enbridge Gas suggests that excavators:Request locates for as precise of an area as possible relative to their work plan to increase the potential that a clearance can be issued and/or a field completion can be issued as fast as possible.Only place locate requests for work that they reasonably plan to start in the near future so as to prevent excess / unnecessary requests and reduce the potential that their locates will expire before starting work.
What alternatives do I have to paying Enbridge Gas for locating its assets?
It is a legal requirement in Ontario that prior to any ground disturbance, the excavator must obtain a valid locate response from all affected infrastructure owners impacted by the ground disturbance activities.
As an alternative, a project owner can apply with Ontario One Call to use a dedicated locator authorized to locate the assets of the infrastructure owner in accordance with regulations. The cost of a dedicated locator will be borne by the project owner in accordance with the Ontario One Call legislation.
Why is Enbridge Gas making the decision to charge for locates?
The cost to deliver locates has increased significantly, and we are proactively working to recover costs for providing locate services directly from third-party contractors and other utilities who make these locate requests.
What are you going to do with the money that you receive for locates?
We are collecting money for line locates to offset our own costs. Enbridge Gas does not earn a profit on the money received for locates.
What is the cost of the locates?
$200.00 CAD (plus applicable taxes) per completed field locate (ground markings and paperwork) will be charged.
How did you arrive at a $200 fee – how can I be assured this is reasonable?
Enbridge Gas completed a detailed analysis of the costs associated with completing a standard locate, including field locate delivery, locate delivery administration and field locate safety controls.
Now that you are charging for locates, will you commit to a five-day turnaround?
Enbridge Gas makes every practicable effort to respond to locate requests within five (5) business days.
To support timely completion of locate request responses, Enbridge Gas suggests that excavators:Request locates for as precise of an area as possible relative to their work plan to increase the potential that a clearance can be issued and/or a field completion can be issued as fast as possible.Excavators should plan their work start date based on the timelines of their locate request to reduce the potential that their locates will expire before they start work.
Why are you charging professional excavators and not residential property owners – is this fair?
With the changes in the legislation, Enbridge Gas is now looking to allocate the costs of delivering locates directly to third-party excavation contractors and other utilities who make these locate request.
Have you assessed the risk that this additional cost will dissuade contractors from obtaining locates?
Yes. Regardless of whether or not there is a charge for obtaining locates, it is a legal requirement under the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act that all parties obtain a valid locate prior to conducting any ground disturbance activities in Ontario.
Any excavator that commences ground disturbance activities without a valid locate may be subject to a $10,000 penalty. Any excavator that continues ground disturbance activities past the expiry date of a valid locate may be subject to a $8,000 penalty.
How can I learn more about the Getting Connected Ontario Act?
Information on the Getting Connected Ontario Act is available online:
Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012, S.O. 2012, c. 4Dedicated Locator – Ontario One Call