Stop Hydro One

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Ontario Energy Board

My husband and I, along with the majority of Hydro One users, I'm sure, are extremely frustrated with the outrageous increases in our hydro bills, with no end in sight. This prompted us to contact our M.P.P.s office. This letter is in response to their written reply to our concerns, and is addressed to the Ontario Energy Board per their suggestion. I thought to myself, as we all have, “What's the point, there's nothing we can do about it.” They must already know that everybody is unhappy with the cost of keeping our electricity flowing. And I almost allowed this to let my comments remain unheard. But maybe, just maybe, if each and every one of us who struggle to pay these incredibly unreasonable charges each month make sure that those in control actually hear us, something may finally be done after all. So, for what it's worth, here are my thoughts.

I have heard and implemented your suggestions to reduce our power consumption. Our electronics are on power bars in order to eliminate phantom power when these items are turned off, we prepare meals for the week in advance on the weekends to take advantage of the lower rates, we hang our clothes up to dry, summer and winter. We've even switched from an electric stove to propane. Even using all of these cost saving measures, my bills are still increasing. I get up extra early in the morning to have my shower and do a load of laundry before the on-peak hours begin. What you don't mention is now the water heater is working its hardest at a much higher rate as it begins it's work after the shower and laundry is complete. In order to run our households economically, it sounds as if we should all be up in the middle of the night and falling asleep at our jobs during the day. The very jobs we so desperately need now in order to keep our lights on. Yes, the same lights that we are all afraid to use now without carefully doing the math first. And how convenient that the on-peak hours begin again just when we are returning from our jobs to prepare supper for our families. Perhaps before too long though, that may not be a concern at all as we will either be able to afford the groceries needed for our meals or the hydro needed to cook the meals. Some may not be able to afford both.

In the letter I received from the office of Rick Johnson they have said that these price increases are expected to moderate in five years. How many times last year did Hydro rates increase? How many increases are we expected to get this year? Whether a result of an increase to the delivery charge, a kilowatt per hour charge or the addition of the HST, the bottom line is, how may of these absurd increases can we be expected to endure? In reality, who do you see being able to afford to pay these prices for the next five years, or for that matter, this year or the next? And this is only addressing the increase in Hydro rates alone. What about every other increase we face in our everyday lives as a result of soaring electricity costs? Every business experiencing increased costs has to pass that on to their consumers. And while we're on the subject of passing on costs – let me talk about the debt retirement charge, obviously another major bone of contention with users. If I were to buy a business that was in debt and blatantly passed that debt onto my customers as a charge over and above the legitimate purchase price of the item they were buying from me, how long do you suppose I would be in business? Why is your business not being governed by the same rules of ethics and fairness that I would be expected to run mine by?

Finally, the government says that energy rates are rising to “ensure that there is enough power to keep the lights on while replacing dirty, smog-producing coal with clean, renewable energy.” I completely appreciate this noble and worthwhile effort and recognize that it will not come cheaply, but I urge you to find ways of cutting back on expenses and doing without “luxuries” as we all have had to do . How much in inflated salaries is spent around the boardroom table or at expensive lunches thinking up new ways of passing on ridiculous increases to the users of your service?

It is time you hear us. We are discouraged, we are frustrated, yet we are working with you the best we can, please find a way to work with us.

Valerie & Dave Roylance

Minden, ON

cc: Dalton McGuinty, Rick Johnson, Tim Hudak,

Hydro One

Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, The County Voice, The Minden Times, The Haliburton Echo

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