Renfrew County, Ontario – Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke has confirmed she has requested the Federal Minister of Industry, the Honourable James Moore, intervene in the Ontario Hydro One smart meters scandal. While the provincial government is responsible for the crippling high electricity rates that have hollowed out the manufacturing sector in Ontario, Industry Canada regulates things like gasoline pumps, gas and electricity meters,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP.
“Hydro ratepayers will recall that in my first investigation into power meters, I contacted Industry Minister Minister James Moore who is responsible for Measurement Canada and the Office of Consumer Affairs, regarding the operation and use of so-called “smart meters” by Hydro One. As a wholly owned provincial crown corporation monopoly in the Province of Ontario, the Ontario government sets the price consumers pay for electricity,” stated MP Cheryl Gallant.
“I was pleased to be able to report to Ontario electricity ratepayers the devices tested by Measurement Canada, functioned as specified by the manufacturer.”
“However, as a result of my investigation into smart meters, I was informed Ontario Hydro has been authorized to certify meters it installs, with voluntary reporting requirements to Measurement Canada of meters that give faulty readings. Also, the ongoing investigation by the Ombudsman of Ontario into the billing practices of Hydro One has received over 10,000 direct complaints from ratepayers, while acknowledging upwards of over 84,000 Hydro One ratepayers experiencing billing problems.”
“Ontario electricity ratepayers are now aware of the submission by Susan Frank, Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer, Hydro One, to the Ontario Energy Board stating that in the case of the provincial utility, billing problems are a result of “smart meter technology… equipment failure.” This has led to estimated billing practices that have caused severe financial hardship for thousands of Ontario residents,” observed MP Gallant.
“My constituents believe that it is not unreasonable to ask that bills be based on real meter readings. Electricity bills should be based on actual usage, not dreamt up in Toronto.”
“Until this problem is fixed, I am requesting that Hydro One be ordered by Measurement Canada to cease the practice of estimated billing and return to the practice of manual meter reading, with all costs the responsibility of Hydro One. As this has been an on-going, unresolved problem at Hydro One, the responsibility of testing so-called defective smart meters should be under direct supervision of Measurement Canada, until the problem is fixed,” concluded Cheryl Gallant MP.