Hydro: Ontario permanently bans winter disconnection from electricity

November 3, 2017
Article Source
Global News

Electricity customers in Ontario struggling to pay their hydro bills will no longer need to worry about being disconnected during the winter.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced Thursday it has permanently banned utility companies in the province from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment between Nov. 15 and April 30 of the following year.

The announcement makes permanent an order issued by the OEB in February, which temporarily forbid electricity companies from cutting off a customer’s power during the winter.

Thursday’s decision also prohibits companies from installing load limiters during winter months. These devices are used to restrict the flow of electricity to a customer’s home in order to reduce overall consumption.

"The OEB finds it to be in the public interest at this time to amend the licenses of all electricity distributors in order to ensure that residential customers are not disconnected for non-payment during a Disconnection Ban Period," said Thursday's statement.

"Unlike the February 2017 license conditions, however, the new conditions apply on a going forward basis rather than for a single winter period."

Thursday's announcement also requires electricity providers to reconnect any customer without power before the start of the disconnection ban period.

Any charges incurred as a result of the reconnection must be waived. This includes the Collection of Accounts services fee that some companies charge for managing overdue accounts.

Read more: Hydro: Ontario permanently bans winter disconnection from electricity