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Bill ends winter hydro disconnections

About 70 electricity distribution companies throughout the province will no longer be allowed to disconnect customers’ power during the winter.

The Ontario Legislature rushed through a bill this morning though Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, tried three times yesterday to get a bill passed.

Previous there was no province-wide regulation to stop companies from shutting off power, regardless of the temperature. The legislation gives the Ontario Energy Board authority to end disconnections of electricity during the winter months. The legislation moves to Royal Assent later today.

About 60,000 customers have their electricity disconnected each year. Ontario’s largest electricity provider, Hydro One agreed not to disconnect any customers this winter and made re-payment plans with about 1,400 customers.

The province banned cold-weather disconnections during the winter of 2002-2003 but in the end, companies had to write off bad debts, impacting the customers who pay their bills on time.

“This is a measure that every caucus has said they’re in favour of,” Smith said, noting concern the government was “more concerned with getting credit for stopping winter disconnections than in actually stopping winter disconnections.”

Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault last week attempted to get all Ontario electricity distribution companies to voluntarily stop disconnections for non-payment.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Fred says:

    Agreed some may have had no choice. Those special circumstances require attention. However you do not want to create a system that can also be abused. Someone has to pay the bills and that someone is most often the taxpayer.

  2. Heather says:

    I’m sure not all of them “decided”. They may have fallen on hard times!

  3. Fred says:

    Who’s paying for the unpaid bills Todd? What happens to Utilities if everyone decided not to pay?

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