98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Thursday, February 7, 2019

United Way Applauds Hydro Cut-off Ban

Grey Bruce | by Claire McCormack  

Sub-metering Council of Ontario has decided to ban winter electricity disconnections.

The United Way of Bruce Grey is applauding the Sub-metering Council of Ontario for voluntarily deciding to ban winter electricity disconnections.

Local United Way Executive Director Francesca Dobbyn says "It's a fantastic piece of news. It's something we've been working on."

While the United Way was successful in 2017 in having winter disconnections by electricity suppliers banned in Ontario, sub-metering companies did not fall under the ban.

Sub-meters, or 'suite-meters' are additional hydro meters for multi-unit buildings. For example, there would be an initial Hydro One or Westario Power meter outside the building, plus an additional meter for each unit.

Dobbyn says sub-metering companies had still been cutting people off during the winter.

She says they weren't part of the ban because they fell under the Landlord Tenant Act and not under the purview of the Ministry of Energy, "We went to the government, they moved the suite meters from the Landlord Tenant (Act) over to the Energy File so they could be regulated."

Dobbyn says now her concern is with the Ford government's Bill 66 to reduce regulations around business in Ontario. She says Bill 66 (Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, 2018)  takes sub-metering out of the energy file again where they would not be regulated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

Dobbyn wants sub metering companies to stay under the OEB's jurisdiction, "So that we can establish what the fees should be for reconnection, disconnection, what the actual electricity rates should be so that people don't suddenly have their hydro rates go up arbitrarily. So that people know what the rules are, so we don't have one company having a different set of rules from another company. It just puts calm into the system."

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