In 2015, Kingston Hydro disconnected 639 residential customers. This figure represents roughly 2.5 per cent of the utility’s 27,000 customers.
Overall, Kingston Hydro ranked 13th out of 75 utility distributors in Ontario in 2015 for the total percentage of customers they disconnected.
Cities and counties across Ontario are trying to keep up with the rising tide of disconnects and customers falling behind on their electricity bills.
As Global News reported, Ontario electricity providers disconnected more than 59,000 residential customers in 2015.
Like many working parents in Ontario, Jane has struggled with rising electricity costs. She says the sharp increase in prices has forced her to make difficult choices when it comes to supporting her family. Jane is a single mother. She works full time as a personal support worker and often picks up extra overtime shifts. She’s been living in the same home for six years but in that time her monthly electricity bills have gone from $140 to nearly $400. Her wages, meanwhile, have been frozen for 7 years.
In total, Ontarian residential customers owed more than $172 million in back payments as of Dec. 31, 2015. This represented an increase of nearly 60 per cent over the amount owed at the end of 2013. In total, Ontarian residential customers owed more than $172 million in back payments as of Dec. 31, 2015. This represented an increase of nearly 60 per cent over the amount owed at the end of 2013.
Still, there are those who believe disconnections should be prohibited altogether.
Francesca Dobbyn, executive director of the United Way of Bruce-Grey County and an outspoken critic of the province’s energy policy, believes there should be a halt on disconnections. She joins the John Oakley show to explain what more needs to be done to keep the lights on for Ontario families.
With Files from Global News.