Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

June 04, 2015 17:29 ET

Ombudsman no Longer Able to Take Hydro One Complaints: Will Pursue More Than 450 Outstanding Cases Over Next Six Months

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 4, 2015) - Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today reminded customers of Hydro One that his office is no longer able to take complaints about the utility, now that royal assent has been given to Bill 91, the Building Ontario Up Act (Budget Measures) 2015.

The Ombudsman's Office also notified Hydro One that it will continue to investigate the more than 450 outstanding complaints it received prior to the passing of the budget bill. The legislation provides that the Ombudsman can continue to exercise his investigative authority over the utility for six more months.

"We will continue to work with Hydro One to resolve outstanding complaints in the next six months, and to ensure it follows up on our recommendations," Mr. Marin said. "After that, customers will have to deal with Hydro One's in-house complaints mechanisms, but our office will be there to provide advice and referrals."

On May 25, the Ombudsman released his report In the Dark, on his office's investigation into systemic billing and customer service problems at Hydro One. Since April 2013, the Ombudsman has received almost 11,000 complaints about the utility.

Hydro One has accepted all of the Ombudsman's recommendations and has committed to report back to him in six months on its progress in implementing them. The Ombudsman will report publicly on Hydro One's progress as warranted, and in future annual reports.

Bill 91 paves the way for partial privatization of Hydro One, and specifically removes the utility from the jurisdiction of independent officers of the Legislature, including the Ombudsman, the Auditor General and the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The report and more information about the Ombudsman's Hydro One investigation can be found here: https://ombudsman.on.ca/Investigations/SORT-Investigations/Completed/Hydro-One.aspx The Ombudsman's next Annual Report will be published in July (date TBA).

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