Hydro Ottawa Limited 3025 Albion Road North, PO Box 8700 Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3S4 Tel.

: (613) 738-5499 ext. 203 Fax: (613) 738-5498

Hydro Ottawa limitée 3025, chemin Albion Nord, C.P. 8700 Ottawa (Ontario) K1G 3S4 Tél. : (613) 738-5499 poste 203 Téléc. : (613) 738-5498

April 3, 2014 His Worship Mayor and Council City of Ottawa 110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1 Dear Mayor Watson and Council: Re: High Winter Bill Concerns According to Environment Canada, the capital region is experiencing its coldest winter since 1994. Historically, March is a very busy year for our Call Centre as customers receive their bills for January and February electricity consumption. Given the record cold temperatures this winter, we are receiving an increase in call volume and correspondence from residents and businesses about high electricity bills. This is both normal and understandable. We understand that you may also be receiving an increase in communications from constituents about this issue as well. I want you to know that we are aware of the issue and are fully prepared to help your offices and our customers. Additional staff, extended Call Centre hours of operation and call routing procedures have all been put in place to better assist our customers with their concerns in a timely manner. As you know, electricity bills vary from month to month or year over year for a number of reasons that may include changes in weather, lifestyle or electricity rates. These factors may contribute to customer misperceptions about increases or additional charges. Cold temperatures can be a contributing factor to increased electricity use and account for approximately 60% of a typical customer’s bill. A cold winter means that heating systems have to work harder to keep up. Even if customers don’t heat with electricity, furnace motors and fans run more, thus sending bills higher. In addition to helping customers with payment plans, energy conservation tips and offering to connect them with our conservation programs, we are reminding customers that they can compare their electricity usage from the previous two years using our online customer portal, MyHydroLink, where they can also monitor their daily and hourly usage. The portal also has the ability to send text alerts when a customer’s self-identified bill threshold is met or exceeded (based on overall consumption, bill amount, etc.). To help alleviate stress for low-income consumers, Hydro Ottawa also works closely with local social service agencies that have programs in place to assist people who are having difficulty paying their via email


electricity bills. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a year-round province–wide emergency financial assistance program. Eligible consumers can receive a one-time payment of up to $500 per household, per calendar year, which is credited directly to their electricity bill. Customers can apply through a network of community-based agencies, or by calling the Salvation Army Booth Centre at 613 241-1573. Should you receive questions, comments or concerns about high bills or call volumes, please email councillorinquiry@hydroottawa.com. Using this process is the most effective way for Hydro Ottawa to ensure your inquiries are dealt with fully and promptly. Thank you again for your ongoing support. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at bryceconrad@hydroottawa.com or by telephone at 613 738-5499 x 203. Sincerely,

Bryce Conrad President and Chief Executive Officer cc: Jim Durrell, C.M., Chair, Board of Directors Kent Kirkpatrick, City Manager, City of Ottawa


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