TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - Hydro One, Toronto Hydro and Alectra Utilities announced today that they stand behind the Ontario Energy Board's (OEB) announcement mandating winter reconnections for those customers that have fallen behind on their accounts. Together, the three utilities serve almost 75 per cent of the province's electricity customers. All customers are encouraged to reach out and work with their local distribution companies to help them get reconnected.
"Hydro One along with our industry counterparts are committed to continuing to finding ways to provide support and relief to customers, especially at a time when they need it most. By working directly with our customers on achievable payment arrangements at the same time as enabling available low income support programs, we have been able to get our customers connected and keep them connected." - Mayo Schmidt, President and CEO, Hydro One, www.HydroOne.com.
"Working with our residential customers to help them manage their electricity bills is a key priority for Toronto Hydro. This policy provides peace of mind for those most vulnerable customers during the coldest months of the year, while supporting our efforts to help customers manage their bills, including offering customized payment plans and access to assistance programs such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program." - Anthony Haines, President and CEO, Toronto Hydro, www.torontohydro.com.
"We remain committed to helping Alectra customers who need assistance. This initiative, along with the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and other support programs that are in place will help to ensure that the power will be there for them during the cold winter months. We encourage those customers who are facing hardship to call us for assistance." - Brian Bentz, President and CEO, Alectra Inc., www.alectrautilities.com.
The OEB's Decision and Order bans electricity service providers from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment from November 15 to April 30 every year and requires that homes currently disconnected be reconnected without charge.
For this year, the OEB has ordered electricity service providers to reconnect homes as soon as possible; in subsequent years, reconnections must be done by November 15. Reconnection times will vary by electricity service provider according to their size and individual circumstances and at all times safety requirements will need to be respected.
Customers in need of additional assistance can also participate in the Affordability Fund, an easy-to-enrol program that extends Ontario's Home Assistance Program to help families and individuals with energy-efficient upgrades that will save them money. Many customers will qualify for upgrades like block heater timers, efficient shower heads and LEDs. Customers in greater need may be qualified for more substantial upgrades, such as appliances, a programmable thermostat and insulation.
"The Affordability Fund is ready to assist individuals and families needing help with their electricity bills through the provision of energy-efficient equipment. The suspension of winter disconnections is an important step forward in supporting people who need additional assistance," said Michael Allen, Chair, Affordability Fund Trust.
As the administrator of the fund, Hydro One is ready to provide customers with access to this program today and is encouraging Ontarians to apply. By answering four simple questions, customers can get the help they need to make energy-efficient improvements in their home to help manage their electricity bills. Customers can apply online at affordabilityfund.org or by calling 1-855-494-FUND.
About Hydro One Inc.:
Hydro One Inc. is a fully owned subsidiary of Hydro One Limited and Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with more than 1.3 million valued customers, $25 billion in assets and annual revenues of over $6.5 billion. Our team of 5,500 skilled and dedicated employees proudly and safely serves suburban, rural and remote communities across Ontario through our 30,000 circuit km high-voltage transmission and 123,000 circuit km primary distribution networks. Hydro One is committed to the communities we serve, and has been rated as the top utility in Canada for its corporate citizenship, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. We are one of only five utility companies in Canada to achieve the Sustainable Electricity Company designation from the Canadian Electricity Association. We also provide advanced broadband telecommunications services on a wholesale basis utilizing our extensive fibre optic network. Hydro One Limited's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: H). For more information about everything Hydro One, please visit www.HydroOne.com.
About Toronto Hydro:
Toronto Hydro owns and operates the electricity distribution system for Canada's largest city. A leader in conservation and demand management, it has 765,000 customers located in the city of Toronto and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.
About Alectra Utilities Corporation:
Alectra Utilities Corporation serves approximately one million homes and businesses across an 1,800 square kilometre service territory comprising 15 communities including Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Brampton, Bradford, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. The Alectra family of companies includes Alectra Inc. (Mississauga), Alectra Utilities Corporation (Hamilton) and Alectra Energy Solutions (Vaughan).
SOURCE Hydro One Inc.
For further information: Hydro One: Media Relations, 416-345-6868 or [email protected]; Toronto Hydro, Tori Gass, Communications and Public Relations, 416-903-4037 or [email protected]; Alectra Utilities, Daloris Grohman, 1-833-MEDIALN (1-833-633-4256) or [email protected]