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Letter points out constituents’ problems with Hydro One

Dear Minister,
I’m writing today to inform you of several problems that constituents in Prince Edward-Hastings have had with their electricity service over the last few months. Hydro One services have been severely lacking. This causes a hardship for rural residents of the riding who are Hydro One customers. Residential customers have repeatedly failed to receive hydro bills from Hydro One for months at a time only to later receive a much larger bill for several months’ worth of services. When this occurs Hydro often informs them that they are to make immediate payment, make arrangement for payments or have their hydro cut off.

Billing problems remain one among a host of concerns including: poor customer service delivery, malfunctioning smart meters and a lack of services provided by the accounts department. In fact, it has gotten so bad that many residents, after a half dozen calls to Hydro One, often call my office with the hope that my office can talk some sense with the people at Hydro One.

In addition to the problems being faced by residential users, local developers are being forced by Hydro One to carry onerous contracts for developments. A standard contract requires the builder to carry the burden for up to three years. However, Hydro One is trying to insist that local developers carry it for up to five years. Needless to say, this creates a disincentive toward new housing construction which has been one of the few sectors helping to keep the economy afloat over the last few years.

All this is in addition to the soaring cost of hydro for which your government bears responsibility. My constituents should not have to accept sub-par services and then be expected to pay a premium for them. My suggestion, therefore, is that you exercise a little ministerial responsibility and fix the problems at Hydro One.

Todd Smith, MPP
Prince Edward-Hastings

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Marion Remen says:

    I have just mailed a comprehensive complaint about Hydro One to the ombudsman and copied to our MP and MPP . There are many equity issues but the first one is that kwH charges are different depending on who your energy provider is Hydro One charges approx. 12x higher than other utility companies. Hydro One sells energy cheaper to Quebec and Minnesota than to Hydro One users. The regulatory and debt charges should be flat fee if we all have different costs not because of our use but because of what the energy provider charges. More research needs to be done into our energy board, hydro one etc. As a Hydro One customer by geography certainly not by choice, we are funding the government, Hydro One to a greater extent than other taxpayers. This is not right. I hope that others will get involved. Thank you

  2. Mark says:

    Global adjustment is identified on residential and business accounts if you are under contract with a marketer.

  3. Mark! says:

    Loretta: I actually work in the mining industry. Did you know that several mines and mining companies, as well as other industries are threatening to leave Quebec because of Hydro Quebec?

  4. Loretta says:

    Mark: A mining company recently relacated to Quebec solely because of the extra cost of electricity in Ontario. You don’t see it on the residential bill because it is hidden, but on a business bill the GA (Global Adjustment) is a separate line item and is more often than not, a higher value than the actual cost of the electricity used. So if they move to another country instead of another province, it does not negate the fact that the high cost of electricity IS a major factor for leaving Ontario, and is known to be the primary factor in at least one instance.

  5. W. Garry says:

    Take a look at your Hydro One bill, I see we are now paying for our Smart meters.

    How many years will it be before we pay them off???

    w g

  6. Mark! says:

    Loretta: Heinz didn’t move to another province. Kellogg’s isn’t moving to another province. Caterpillar didn’t move to another province. They moved to other countries.

    Hey, I have a hydro bill and guess what? It sucks. It isn’t getting cheaper. Neither is milk. Neither is bread. Neither is literally any other service you pay for.

    Those company’s hydro bills were high, I am not arguing with that. But if you think THAT is the reason they are not here anymore, well then it seems you will fit in just fine with most of the posters that come on here to complain about everything.

  7. Loretta says:

    Mark#1: When the GA is over $1million a month, it becomes the no 1 reason for leaving. If your company can save that amount of money by moving to another province, what possible other reasons do there need to be?

  8. Mark #1 says:

    Doris, while Hydro costs may be one outlying factor of companies like Heinz leaving Ontario, it is certainly not the only one. Even you know that.

  9. Christian says:

    Todd: Very good open letter. The heart and soul of Hydro One are the front line workers in the field but the back office has often struggled with efficiencies. If one were to look at the current organizational structure at Hydro One and count how many in 2014 are in a senior leadership role as compared to 2013, 2012 and 2011, one might be surprised to see a significant increase in those with a job title that includes “Vice President” or “Chief”. Compensation may also be on the rise. There seems no shortage in leadership to solve these billing problems. Maybe there are to many leaders and not enough qualified doers?

  10. Mark says:

    Todd, who deregulated Ontario Hydro?

  11. Doris Lane says:

    Thank you Todd for your informative letter re Hydro.
    Also the reason that unemployment is up because of the high costs imposed by Hydro for manufacturers, reason for Heinz and others leaving Ontario

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