Customer Relations Centre

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					Customer Relations Centre
    Jenni Spencer, Supervisor
             What We Do
The CRC is more than just a complaint
  handling department. We function as the
  Customer’s Advocate in dealing with
  Hydro One
Intersection of where customers, Call
  Centre, MPP’s, etc come together
Barometer for customer relationship issues
  for Hydro One
         Let’s Start with Stats
• The number of disconnection notices issued per
  year for the past three years:
  – 135,347 for 2006
  – 137,221 for 2007
  – 91,468 to August 31, 2008
• The number of customers disconnected in a
  – 9,266 in 2006
  – 8,614 in 2007
  – 9,462 to August 31, 2008
 Helping Customers Address Their
       Electricity Bill Arrears
• Hydro One makes every effort to avoid
  disconnecting customers
• Many consumers do not contact Hydro
  One when they begin to encounter
• We are implementing a process to
  streamline social services/agencies
  through the Call Centre
       Helping Customers Help
• Educate customers on proper ways to negotiate
  with Hydro One
• Educate customers on how to read their bill
• Educate customers on billing options
• Educate customers about electric baseboard
• Educate customers about energy efficiency
• Educate customers about energy retailers
         Negotiating Payment
• Don’t wait until the “truck is driving down
  the road”
• Don’t keep calling for extensions
• Do have a plan that is reasonable
• Get a large bill? – call for arrangements
• Deposit applied, ask for a reduction and/or
  for 6 instalments
Reasons Arrangements Are Denied
• No or few payments on account
• Payment arrangements not met
• False confirmations
• Previously written off accounts
• Account switching and familial
• Security issues
    Controlling Customer’s Bills
• Budget Billing Plan
• Electronic Fund Transfer
• Electricity Comparison Chart
• “We estimated your meter”
• Late Payment Exemptions
  (ODSP, over 65)
• Smart Meters
              Electric Heat
• Expensive…!
• Some systems are better than others
• If a baseboard heater is not turned off at
  the breaker or fuse, it may run, even if the
  temperature seems warm.
• Culprit/hidden heaters (crawlspaces)
• Wood stoves may increase baseboard
          Energy Efficiency
• Making improvements to the “tightness” of
  the thermal envelope will pay off quickly
• Windows and doors first
• “Off”….!!!
• Participate in Green Programs
• Many websites with lots of excellent
• www.
   Energy Efficiency Programs
• Very little for low income, as you have to
  spend money to save money
• Lobby the Ontario Power Authority for
  programs to meet your clients needs
             Energy Retailers
• Hydro One does NOT go door to door
• Hydro One does NOT offer special pricing
• Do NOT show your electricity bill to anyone who comes
  to your door, they are NOT Hydro One people
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
• Read the fine print
• Do not cash cheques that come in the mail, you may
  automatically be entered into a 5 year contract
• Questions, contact the Ontario Energy Board
• Retailer complaints, contact the Ontario Energy Board
Be Aware of Websites
This Site Shows Regulated Pricing
   However, Wants to Sell You
      Process with Hydro One
• Customers who are working with a social agency
  can obtain a one-time 10 day extension where a
  cut-out for non-payment order exists on the
• We require Written consent to speak about a
  client’s bill.
• Customers will disconnected without further
  notice if a payment arrangement/payment is not
  made by the end of the 10 days.
  Client Already Disconnected?
• Full payment will be required for
• Deposit will be applied to the 1st bill
• Can ask for the deposit to be applied in
  instalments (up to 6)
• You or the customer may be able to
  negotiate a lower deposit.
• Pay direct may result in the elimination of
  the deposit (currently under review)
            Disconnection Fees
• Disconnect/Reconnect Fees

  –   Disconnect at meter – regular hours = $65
  –   Disconnect at meter – after hours = $185
  –   Disconnect at pole – regular hours = $185
  –   Disconnect at pole – after hours = $415
  –   Disconnect load limiting device – regular hours = $65
  –   Disconnect load limiting device – after hours = $185
• Deposit Policy changed July 29, 2004
• To ensure all customers are treated equally, the
  Ontario Energy Board provided guidelines to
  electricity distributors on how to apply security
• Deposits are collected to guarantee payment of
  future charges
• Based on how often we bill our customers
• 2.5 times the highest monthly average bill.
          Want Changes?
• Lobby the Ontario Energy Board if you
  wish to see changes to utility deposit
• LIEN, Hydro One and others are in
  consultation with the OEB regarding low
  income and electricity and gas rates
• Submissions are on the Ontario Energy
  Board web site at

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