No more winter electricity disconnections
Electricity consumers behind on their bills need no longer fear being disconnected in the winter now that the Ontario government has barred utilities from pulling the plug on them.
“I’m hoping to have all of this done by the end of this week,” Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault told reporters Wednesday after all three parties supported the passage of the Protecting Vulnerable Energy Consumers Act.
The bill got royal assent later in the day and gives the Ontario Energy Board power to order utilities to stop disconnections during cold weather months through changes to their licences, which could take until Monday.
Most utilities had already agreed to voluntarily end the winter disconnects, but Thibeault said some could not do so in time for a midnight Tuesday deadline, prompting the new law.
Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said he was pleased the legislation passed, but added the government should have put the ban in place before winter.
“Unfortunately, this comes after far too many families and seniors were forced to suffer in the cold without power because the Wynne Liberals dragged their feet and played political games.”