Hydro One wants to keep down cottager power bills.

Their Vice President of Customer Service Imran Merali tells My Bancroft Now that the company will be asking the Ontario Energy Board to approve an alternative to the elimination of the seasonal property class.

Earlier this summer, the company issued a statement about eliminating the Seasonal Class. It implied the OEB is forcing the company’s hand to reclassify residents which could have some customers facing bill increases of up to 175 percent. At the time, Hydro One added the OEB first directed it to develop a plan to get rid of the class back in 2015.

“Hydro One has advocated on behalf of its customers on how the elimination of this rate class would have a negative effect on more than half of our seasonal customers,” the statement said. “By eliminating the seasonal rate class, approximately 54 percent of our seasonal customers could see a significant increase in their bills.”

Merali described that rise as roughly $1,000 a year.

The alternate solution the company wants to bring forward would reduce that increase to $65, through the capping of delivery or distribution charges by 2021.

Merali indicated current seasonal rate class customers would be moved into other rate classes if their current status was eliminated. They’re asking those customers to get involved in the effort to prevent the change.

The OEB will review the company’s proposal, and a timeline on a decision is unclear. Merali expected their review process to start in the next few months. “The best thing for them (customers) to do is get involved, and go to our website, Hydro One.com/ seasonal rates, and get more information and get involved in the OEB process,” said Merali.

As for what happens if the proposal is rejected, Merali said he was certain that Hydro One would look for ways to mitigate the increases for their customers.

Written by James Wood