MEDIA ADVISORY: Unconscionable Hydro Billing Practices at Toronto High-Rise

Posted September 28, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY:
Unconscionable Hydro Billing Practices at Toronto High-Rise
 
ACORN demanding end to WYSE Meter Solutions contract with Capreit Properties at 10 San Romanoway
 
(Toronto, Ontario) This Thursday, September 29th at 12 noon ACORN members from across North York will be joining fellow members living at 10 San Romanoway Dr in solidarity as they demand an end to predatory billing practices for their hydro.
 
WHAT: Action for Affordable Hydro
WHEN:  Thursday, September 29th, 2016
WHERE:  10 San Romano Way (Northeast Corner of Jane and Finch)
 
Since the ownership of 10 San Romanoway switched their hydro submetering contract to Wyse Submetering Solutions in January of this year, tenants have noticed that their hydro bills have gone through the roof. Tenants are seeing “delivery charges” on their bills that are equal to, and often exceed, the energy charge itself. If tenants are in arrears with their hydro bills, they are charged a $25 late fee, and then have their hydro cut off. To have their hydro reconnected, they need to pay cancellation and reconnection fees that add up to several hundred dollars. Because of this, the lowest income tenants are being victimized for their inability to pay Wyse’s high rates.
 
Eileen Cato who lives at 10 San Romanoway will be heading up the action to fight Wyse predatory business practices.  She says:
 
“I’m a senior, I need electricity in my unit, but I feel like a hostage in my own building. They control the lights and they can just turn them off by flipping a switch. I got a bill the same day I paid my rent, so I called them and told them I’d have to pay late, and they told me that being late with my payment would mean that I pay an additional $25 fee. I’ve been cut off several times by Wyse, and each time I have to pay several hundred dollars to reconnect. I feel like I’m being extorted.”
 
ACORN spokesperson Kemba Robinson says that Sub-Metering companies are awful:
 
“These companies lack accountability. People are being charged ridiculous rates, and tenants in buildings aren’t even allowed to choose what company they pay to, so they’re stuck paying whatever rates they’re given. On top of this there are late fees and reconnection fees that victimize the lowest income people.”
 
Background:
 
Ontario ACORN is set to launch a province wide Public Power campaign later this fall that will offer policy solutions to make hydro affordable and public.
 
Contact Peter Gatti at 416 876 6064 or torontofo5@acorncanada.org