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Horwath to intro law banning pre-paid hydro meters

Forcing people to feed the meter to get power must be stopped, NDP leader says
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Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said this week she's introducing a law to ban pre-pay hydro meters. (Supplied)

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said this week she's introducing a law to ban pre-pay hydro meters.

Hydro One made pre-pay hydro an issue when it included it as part of its distribution rate application for 2018 to 2022. If approved, Hydro One could replace smart meters with pre-pay meters, which customers would have to feed in order for the electricity to flow. 

“This is what privatization looks like,” said Horwath in a news release. “Seniors living on small pensions resorting to candles and blankets when they can’t afford more credits. Parents telling their kids they can’t afford to keep the lights on. It has to be stopped.”

The NDP leader added she is concerned the new meters would skirt the ban on winter-time disconnections, since they cut off electricity automatically if the meter isn’t fed by buying credits at a corner shop or online.

Looking to pre-empt Hydro One's pre-pay scheme, the NDP plans to introduce the Protecting Hydro Consumers Act, which would, if passed, prohibit distributors from installing pre-pay meters anywhere in Ontario.