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Hydro One fighting lawsuit for delivery charges to cottage without power

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Hydro One is fighting back against a cottage owner who’s suing for charges incurred while his property’s power line was disconnected.

According to reports, Kip Van Kempen was charged more than $1,000 for the nearly eight months that his Mazinaw Lake cottage was without power.

It was disconnected from October 2015, when a tree fell on some power lines, to June 2016, when the line was fixed. But Hydro One says the charges during this period were not dependant on the customer’s electricity consumption. Instead, reads a statement of defence that the utility company submitted in a Durham Region court, delivery charges are “…based on the amount of electricity used by the customer and another component that is a fixed charge.”

Van Kempen told CTV News that his bill says otherwise.

“It was quite specific that it said delivery charge is for the cost of bringing the hydro to your home. And my point is they never brought it to my home,” Van Kempen said. “You can’t charge people for what was not delivered.”

Unfortunately, how Van Kempen defines “delivery” and how the Ontario Energy Board defines “delivery” are very different. According to the energy board, the monthly flat-rate is assessed if the utility company’s equipment is still on the customer’s property.

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault told CTV that every Hydro customer must pay for the wires, towers, and smart meters that make up the system. If Van Kempen didn’t want to get charged, Thibeault says he should have cancelled his service and returned Hydro One’s equipment.

But Hydro One isn’t just fighting back against the $1,100 Van Kempen would like to be reimbursed. They’re also asking the court to force him to cover their legal bills.

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