Friday, November 12, 2010


I am SICK of these vultures known as Hydro One. They are absolutely OUT OF CONTROL. In July, despite the fact that my balance said 'zero' they showed up at my door saying I owed $2000.00, which I begrudgingly paid.

Then, on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, they showed up at my door claiming I owed ANOTHER $1500.00, which I DIDN'T pay, as I simply do not have the money to do so.The ONLY thing I was THANKFUL for was that my 10 friends who come annually for Thanksgiving couldn't make it this year. What a disaster THAT would have been.

I hope that the CEO of Hydro One enjoyed HIS Thanksgiving dinner in his warm house. I, on the other hand, ate a cold can of Pork & Beans, huddled under the blankets with my dying lab, who passed away two days later. Happy Thanksgiving. I am SO glad I live in SUCH a WONDERFUL country. UNBELIEVABLE.

Just a little background FYI: I am a University Graduate with 2 (almost 3) degrees. I had a good job making about $90,000 a year until I had to go on a medical leave, (which I am still on). At that point, I lost all my medical benefits (??? Yes- Figure THAT one out!!) and 4 YEARS later I am STILL fighting the ONTARIO TEACHERS' INSURANCE PLAN (OTIP)to try and get compensation.I have borrowed money from friends and family, because of course, if one is disabled in this country, one cannot access the equity built up in your home. So....despite the fact that I am on a medical leave and have had NO income for 4 years, Hydro continually preys on those who are struggling the most in this country- AND then adds on SECURITY DEPOSITS with their offer to reconnect after FULL payment. I find this absolutely incredible.So, am I going to have to sell my 1857 log cabin that I have worked ALL my life for because I can't afford to pay HYDRO????

What is going to happen in the next few weeks/months when the pipes freeze and burst and flood my house? I can't run a pump to pump water out. My furnace will be destroyed and who knows what else. What is my recourse then??? Can I launch a lawsuit against Hydro One to pay for all THOSE damages they CAUSE?

My other concern are my horses that arrived the week after Thanksgiving. Their arrival was planned months in advance, and now, I haven't even been ABLE to activate the electric fencing as of yet. Although I live in the country, I live near two major roads, and if my horses get out on the road and get killed (or cause deaths) because the electric fences aren't on.

THAT BLOOD WILL BE ON THEIR HANDS and THEY WILL PAY. There is absolutely NO POSSIBLE WAY that I can use this much hydro (roughly $500.00/month). I live alone. I use ONE light, my laptop and a 13" tv in my bedroom. I shower once a week. I have a propane furnace and stove. My Energy Star fridge is brand new. My washer and dryer are brand new EnergyStar products as well, but I NEVER use a dryer- summer or winter.

This past summer, I ran two fans, a small window air conditioner(new) and a dehumidifier in the basement. I know people who are running hot tubs, pools, and have barns, and their bills are less than half of mine. I know people with teenagers who have daily showers and use a multitude of small appliances as well as computers, stereos, gaming systems, blow dryers, and do laundry on a daily basis, and their bills are less than half of mine as well. So what's wrong with this picture?

I received a letter from Hydro One a few months ago, regarding 'stray voltage' on farms. They were ORDERED to write this letter by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to inform farmers about this problem. While the focus of the letter is how the stray voltage can produce electrical shocks that affect livestock, I contend that it must ALSO affect the SMART METERS in some way.

Their fact sheet states, "Poor or faulty farm wiring, improper grounding, unbalanced farm system loading, defective equipment or VOLTAGES FROM TELEPHONE LINES OR GAS PIPELINES ARE ALL POSSIBLE SOURCES OF STRAY VOLTAGE."I have BOTH of these types of lines running right beside my Hydro Line and past the SMART METER, so perhaps THAT is what is causing the problems with the meter. I don't know, I'm not an electrician. But just TRY and get someone from Hydro to address these is HOPELESS.

I guess I should consider myself 'lucky', as I have another building on my property that has a separate Hydro meter, and thus, a separate account.

When the hydro in the house was cut off, I ran two electrical cords over to my house.
Here is a summary of what I am currently running in my shop:
-a small (new) freezer
-one extension cord that I plugged in to my pellet stove so that I am able to have heat in one room.
(The last few days, since we have had snow, I have let the pellet stove run all day/night on low.)
- the second extension cord I use to power my laptop, cellphone charger, router/modem and one light in my bedroom. -occasionally, I will plug the tv in for an hour to watch the news, or plug the vacuum in
- two small 'fridges' in the shop (one is actually a little wine cooler, but I have been using it as a fridge, and the other is an old mini bar-fridge).
This is the list of what is drawing power on the shop meter, and over a ONE WEEK PERIOD I used a total of 47 kWh.

In my house, Hydro tells me I use over 55 kWh A DAY, to which I say there is NO POSSIBLE WAY. If I am using this amount of electricity in a month, how can ANYONE in this province survive, because they must be paying $2000-$3000 A MONTH considering the appliances, lights, hot water etc. that they use.

This just doesn't make sense but Hydro constantly tries to turn it around and say YOU are at fault- not any of THEIR equipment or methods of reading data.) Again I have to ask:
WHY ARE WE CANADIANS SO COMPLACENT AND ALLOWING HYDRO TO GET AWAY WITH THIS??????? I think one possible answer is that people are tired of trying to fight this battle with Goliath on their own, and I am SO glad that I discovered your website. I will be sending it to each and every person in my Contacts list, as well as every SINGLE MP AND MPP. Maybe if they start reading some of these comments they will see the impact that Hydro is having on Canadians- the CONSTITUENTS THAT VOTED THEM IN...and can just as easily vote them out.

I for one, am SO, SO, SO tired of continually fighting with Hydro and getting nowhere. I feel I am alone on the battlefield, and to be honest, with the lawsuit against the Insurance company in progress, as well as my illness, I don't have the physical or mental strength to continually fight.
One very rude Hydro One manager said to me, "I don't know what your problem is. That is an average bill for an average family." I told her that, "No, that ISN'T what an average family is paying for hydro and more importantly, I am not an 'average family'. I am ONE person."

The government and our representatives really DON'T care what is going on in this province, as evidenced by the meeting I attempted to set up with my MPP regarding a number of issues, one being Hydro. His 'assistant' was running interference however, and wouldn't even let me schedule an appointment with him. When I explained the dilemma I was having with hydro, her comment was as follows:"Perhaps you need to go to Credit Counselling so they can help you with some bills." (yes, unbelievable, I know). No. I DON'T need Credit Counselling. What I DO need is a RESPONSIBLE government that will reign these vultures in, stop this madness and return Ontario to it's once prosperous state, rather than a 'have-not' province that is resembling a third-world country. (Actually, I have lived in a third-world country, and had a better standard of living as well as better utility services, for about an eighth of the cost of what I pay here.)
I am ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED that Hydro is allowed to do whatever they please, charging exorbitant prices, gouging hard-working Canadians, while wreaking havoc on households by cutting off power. And all the while, they are walking away with multi-million dollar wages and ever-increasing profits.




Sincerely, Patti Tufford


  1. Seems some are having trouble posting comments, like this one above. I have altered some of the settings. See if that works. If not just email me like Patti did and I'll post it.

  2. Sherrie/North Perth AdvocateNovember 13, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    I hear you Patti and feel your frustration. I put in a wood stove so I wouldn't have to use the electric heaters and bought lots of candles. I just hope that sometime soon this comes to a head and hydro gets it's comeupance. Just waiting for my next disconnection notice

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