Senior frustrated with Hydro One bill 'insanity'

Etobicoke man Walter Szwez has been zapped by Hydro One for his Georgian Bay cottage. (Stan...

Etobicoke man Walter Szwez has been zapped by Hydro One for his Georgian Bay cottage. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

TORONTO -- An Etobicoke, Ont., senior whose annual hydro bill on his Georgian Bay island cottage has hit $7,000 says something needs to be done about Hydro One and smart meters.

"It's getting to the point where I'm probably going to have to sell the cottage," Walter Szwez, 70, said Tuesday. "It's insanity."

QMI Agency readers have been sending in their Hydro One horror stories following Tuesday's announcement by Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin that his investigators would probe the utility's billing practices and customer service.

Clients complained of "staggering" increases in their bills, faulty readings, high delivery charges for cottages, missing bills, and polite but unhelpful customer service.

Szwez said his cottage is fully insulated to an R-2000 standard, has no air conditioning and is unoccupied for half the year.

He installed electric baseboard heaters -- something he now regrets -- but they're kept at 8C to 10C throughout the winter.

His initial annual bills from Hydro One were in the $3,600 to $4,000 range but they pretty much doubled after a smart meter was installed.


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