Hydro is top of mind during this provincial election, and for good reason.
Green energy, overcharging consumers and high salaries to hydro executives dominate headlines. It’s a combination that makes for an explosive issue.
One of the excuses given for paying skyrocketing salaries to hydro official is that it’s a complicated job where special and exacting skills are required to run the business.
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has even dubbed Hydro One “the six-million-dollar man,” for drawing a paycheque of $6.2-million.
In my last report as Ontario’s Ombudsman called In the Dark, released almost 3 years to this date, I found wildly egregious errors in Hydro One’s billing practices as well as a culture of complacency when it came to customer service.
Hydro One is the most complained of government body since the creation of the Ombudsman’s office. An unprecedented 10,565 people came forward with all types of issues, including overbilling.
One corporate customer, for example, was billed $15 million instead of $4,034.47. In one of the most extreme examples, Garrison Petawawa received a whoppingly incorrect bill to the tune of $50,751,518.05.
The report was a wake-up call not only to Hydro One, but to all hydro companies in Ontario. Stop milking the unsuspecting customers!
But we’ll never see such damning reports again because the Premier Kathleen Wynne government removed Hydro One from the oversight of all officers of parliament. Shoot the messengers of bad news and bad news goes away.
Did the high-priced hydro people listen to the message in the report to clean-up their act? Not according to Jeremy Poteck, once described as the hydro bill whisperer by former Sun columnist Christina Blizzard