A Kingston couple is among a growing number of Ontario residents coming forward — claiming their Hydro bill is so high they can’t afford to pay it.
The couple lives on Unity road –and had their electricity cut off last week.
Darryn Davis has their story…
Filling and checking the generator is now a daily part of Wayne O’Donnell’s routine since his electricity was cut off last week.
Hydro one says he owes over 8 thousand dollars but he and his wife believe there’s a problem with the electrical feed coming into their house.
They think it may have something to do with a barn fire that happened before they began renting the property.
“When they did show up they pulled the meter off put a new one on, that would last a month, month and a half and it would blow and we keep telling them that there’s a power surge because it kept blowing the lights in the house. ”
Wayne’s wife Lori says bills from Hydro One have been coming inconsistently and she doesn’t understand how they could be using roughly 7 hundred dollars a month in electricity.
“We do not heat with electricity, a few lights a tv is not going to cause the situation…a well pump is not going to cause that much of a situation.”
Further complicating their problems, Hydro One says the power was cut off this past spring and the O’Donnell’s illegally reconnected the hydro.
“There’s no chance I’m going up that pole, number one I don’t trust it, number 2 I’m afraid of heights and number 3 I don’t like electricity. ”
“The O’Donnell’s say they’ve tried to work out a payment plan and solve the issues with hydro one but to no avail. ”
“They didn’t correct the power bill. They left the power bill high and had a high payment on top of that so we were screwed every time the bill showed up anyway. ”
The O’Donnell’s say they tried contacting M.P.P. Sophie Kiwala for help, but were turned down because of hydro one’s claim that they illegally hooked up their electricity.
“She turned around got hold of them and she gets this letter and she read over the phone to us and they’re calling us crooks, they’re telling us that we’re criminals therefore she can’t help us because we’re criminals.”
M.P.P Sophie Kiwala encouraged the O’Donnells to get in touch with the hydro one ombudsman to plead their case adding:
“Of course it is our priority to help families, especially those facing disconnection, with the support that they need when facing challenging circumstances.”
And Hydro One says they will be contacting the O’Donnell’s soon…the statement reads in part
“Our customer care team will be reaching out again to this customer and reviewing the account. If there was an error by hydro one, we will ensure it is corrected.”
Until then the O’Donnell’s still have a debt of over 8000 dollars in electricity charges.
Darryn Davis CKWS News Kingston.