They’ve been under fire for spending since the Trudeau government sold more than 50% of the company in 2015
The additional $6-million Hydro One is looking to spend would go toward bill changes mostly for its commercial, industrial and large distribution account customers. Cosmetic changes to bills account for about 25 per cent of the cost, with the rest of the money going toward updating information systems and improving digital billing platforms
Hydro One says a 2016 survey of its customers indicated about 40 per cent had trouble understanding their bills.
Peggy Sattler, MMP of London West saids that the real problem isn’t the layout of the bill but is the number owing at the bottom
“You ask anyone in Ontario, anyone in London what the problem is with their hydro bill and their not going to say I cant understand the bill, their going to say the bills are too high.”
NDP leaders like Sattler disagree with the move to pass the proposed expense claiming its “Alot of money to spend considering Hydro One already redesigned their billing just last year”.
Sattler also believe that companies like Hydro One need to be publicly owned rather than privately. The dividends that was used to help fund public services like education and construction. “That’s 500 million dollars that could be going into public services rather than the pockets of the shareholders”
Sattler says that “Once things like hydro become private all that matters to the companies is the profit. So people who live in rural areas will now have to pay more for the same quality of electricity or simply go without”
Sattler believes its something that all Ontarians should have without having to compromise quality of life. “People are doing crazy thinking like waiting to wash clothes until after 9pm or not turning the lights on but they still see their bill increase each month”
The Ontario Energy Board recently ordered Hydro One to lower a rate increase it had been seeking for this year to 0.2 per cent down from 4.8 per cent.