News / Ottawa

Ottawa politicians ask province for lower rural hydro rates

A demand for lower hydro rates for Ottawa’s rural residents was delivered to Queen’s Park on Wednesday.

Osgoode ward Coun. George Darouze says the Ontario Liberal government’s promise to reduce hydro bills by eight per cent doesn’t do enough to close the gap between what Ottawa’s urban and rural residents pay for their electricity.

TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE

Osgoode ward Coun. George Darouze says the Ontario Liberal government’s promise to reduce hydro bills by eight per cent doesn’t do enough to close the gap between what Ottawa’s urban and rural residents pay for their electricity.

Signed, sealed and delivered: Osgoode ward Coun. George Darouze said residents will be making election decisions based on a petition he delivered to Queen's Park on Wednesday.

Darouze joined MPP Lisa MacLeod in Toronto on Wednesday to present a petition that demands the province lower hydro rates for Ottawa’s rural residents.

It’s the latest effort by Darouze, who also penned a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne last month, to deliver some hydro bill relief to his rural constituents.

Darouze said there are 45,000 Ottawa residents, many in his ward, who are not part of Hydro Ottawa grid but instead pay Hydro One rates. Those rates are on average 30 per cent more expensive electricity, a number Darouze believes is unacceptable.

“The impact on myself, and my residents, is that we pay 30 per cent more than anyone else,” said Darouze. “The pressure is financial. People have to make decisions about whether they eat or keep the light on.”

The petition delivered to Queen’s Park on Wednesday – titled Fair Hydro to Ottawa – calls for the provincial government to allow Hydro One customers in Ottawa to pay a harmonized rate.

The province's energy minister now has 45 days to deliver an answer to the petition, which Darouze said could be an important election issue.

“It’s perfect timing, to get an answer before Christmas,” he said. “We will be making our choices in the next election to see who will help us. We need political will, we need the pressure, to make this change.”

The city tried to solve hydro rate discrepancy about a year and a half ago by itself, by trying to buy the areas served by Hydro One and bring them under the umbrella of Hydro Ottawa. In the end the city couldn’t afford it, according to Darouze.

Metro Savers