Condominiums, apartments, retirement homes and hotels among those eligible for large-scale refunds
TORONTO, March 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, Ontarians are fighting back against billing errors made by the province's utility companies.
After a 2015 Ontario Ombudsman investigation brought to light the tens of thousands of billing issues experienced with Ontario's largest utility transmission and distribution company, many have now taken matters into their own hands, seeking energy audits and justice in the form of substantial refunds.
"Errors have been uncovered in a variety of cases, with multi-unit residences such as condominiums, apartments and even retirement homes typically facing the highest overcharges," said former Ontario Ombudsman André Marin, who launched the investigation into erroneous utility billings after his office received an unprecedented volume of public complaints. "Though many are in the thousands, I'm aware of refunds of up to $1 million being collected for multi-unit dwellings."
Last year, a Toronto hotel recovered $276,000 in refunds for a single building alone, while retirement homes in Ottawa, Hamilton, Orangeville and Welland obtained refunds in the tens of thousands. Errors have even been found on non-profit electricity bills, including the Ontario Homes for Special Needs Association, which was overcharged $6,000 for a small 28-bed facility in Newmarket, Ontario.
Such gross billing errors add fuel to an already burning fire around outrageous energy costs in Ontario. A 2015 auditor general report revealed that Ontarians paid $37 billion above market prices for electricity between 2006 and 2014.
"The unfortunate reality is that many Ontario businesses don't realize that their bills contain errors and end up overpaying as a result," said Jeremy Poteck, Founder and CEO, Poteck Power Corporation. Launched in response to Marin's Ombudsman report, Poteck Power has recovered $4.3 million in refunds on behalf of its customers in less than one year. Approximately one-third of the company's complimentary audits for qualified customers reveal errors, with the majority of them averaging over $10,000 each.
As public awareness grows around the alarming frequency of utility billing errors, pressure continues to mount for Ontario's energy companies to pay closer attention to their billings and increase customer service staffing in order to properly address and resolve customer concerns.
Though improvements have been made over the last year, the fact that Ontarians are still experiencing errors on their energy bills in large numbers is 'utterly unacceptable,' according to Marin, who encourages Ontarians to be diligent in checking for billing errors and persistent in following up for retroactive reimbursements.
A complimentary billing audit for Ontario businesses and not-for-profit organizations is available through Poteck Power, where fees are only charged when refunds are collected. For further information, visit www.poteckpower.com.
About André Marin
As the Ontario Ombudsman from 2005-2015, André Marin is an expert in ethics, anti-corruption, systemic investigations and compliance. With a mandate to promote transparency and accountability, Marin has been recognized for his significant contributions to social justice and public service, including receiving awards such as the John Tait Award of Excellence (Canadian Bar Association, 2012), the Distinguished Service Award (Ontario Bar Association, 2012) and a designation as one of Canada's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers (2013 and 2014).
About Poteck Power Corporation
Poteck Power Corporation is a consulting company that provides free energy invoice audits to help the utility customers of Ontario recover refunds from frequent billing errors. To date, Poteck Power Corporation has recovered $4.3 million in client refunds, servicing multi-unit residential, commercial, not-for-profit and agricultural sectors.
SOURCE Poteck Power Corporation
For further information: Jeremy Poteck, Founder & CEO, Poteck Power Corporation, [email protected]