LETTER: Residents need better communication from Hydro Ottawa

Crews repair a hydro pole in Carleton Place on Saturday, March 21.  Hydro Ottawa says a supply outage at the Beckwith Station caused a widespread outage in Rideau-Goulbourn. Photo by Pam Wilcox.
Crews repair a hydro pole in Carleton Place on Saturday, March 21. Hydro Ottawa says a supply outage at the Beckwith Station caused a widespread outage in Rideau-Goulbourn. Photo by Pam Wilcox.

Re: Power outage in Munster/Ashton area due to supply issues from Hydro One

I understand estimated repair times but the lack of communication about what is happening and what’s being done to improve things from Hydro is sorely lacking. We hear from each other on Facebook more than we get from any direct Hydro source. Part of customer service is providing service number one, the second part is communicating when you fail in number one.

Looking at posts from yesterday and today there was a woman who had to cancel scheduled appointments with clients because she couldn’t meet them at her home. Homes and the children in them are cold. I can’t imagine what older folks in town are going through and just hope they got out of town or had people looking in on them.

I have a son with special needs who has been a nervous wreck since last weekend’s outage,  watching the trees constantly to see if it’s windy and then worrying about the power going out. After yesterday he’s a mess. He spent the day pacing the house and couldn’t sleep. It will take him weeks to feel safe in his own home again, and that’s only if nothing happens during those weeks.

As someone who does laundry weekends to take advantage of lower rate times on power, now I’ll be working at that into Monday, paying more because of the weekend’s outages. Who pays for that? Me. I also work from home so Friday had to make plans around the scheduled power outage and now tomorrow will have to do the same. Who loses work time?  Me.

What I’ll also be doing Monday is investigating generators, which I can’t afford but that I can’t afford not to look at if only to give my son peace of mind and to provide him the security and safety Hydro can’t.

Heather Seftel-Kirk, Munster


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1 thought on “LETTER: Residents need better communication from Hydro Ottawa”

  1. Any time I have communicated with Hydro Ottawa about their communication, I am always scolded…. For instance I look on their “outages” page, and don’t see a particular outage at all. I tell them – their reply is usually something like “oh we only report outages that affect XX number of people”. Or a large outage just isn’t there until some time after the power has been out.

    They have serious issues accepting modern methods of communication, and their attitude seems to be that they only have to report some outages, if they meet certain criteria that they have decided on.

    There was an outage a few weeks ago that brought the whole Civic Hospital down for a while, and it was not on their outage map. Why? When asked, because the outage only affected a “few customers”. The hospital is one customer – but what about the 4000 people inside the building that were affected, and no acknowledgement from Hydro Ottawa at all, because of some rule it had to meet.

    How about communicate everything?!? Let the customer decide if it is useful information or not.

    Don’t try to hide things because of some arbitrary rule you made up.

    And this isn’t even getting into, how about having secondary feeds to the grid for areas where you have people paying an arm and a leg for your “delivery”? You sure charge us that delivery fee…. I want a deliver guarantee for my money.

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