Bluewater Power Customers In The Red

A Smart Meter (BlackburnNews.com file photo by Melanie Irwin)

Sarnia-Lambton residents aren’t immune to the effects of soaring hydro prices in Ontario.

Across the province, 8% of households were in arrears at the end of 2015, owing over $172.5-million.

Bluewater Power Vice President Alex Palimaka says that’s similar to what’s being noticed locally.

He says 10%, or about 3,500 of their customers are in arrears, owing an average of $148 each.

“It has an impact on all of our customers, so we do what we can to collect from our customers,” says Palimaka.

“We are persistent because that’s not only good for our corporation but it’s good for our other customers as well. But, on the other hand we’re a compassionate company so we do our best to make sure our customers are comfortable in meeting their obligations. But, at the end of the day, we want to get paid because that’s good for all of us.”

Palimaka expects the utility to recover the majority of the outstanding costs.

He encourages residents to save on energy by reducing the use of air conditioning and keeping the blinds closed during the day.

Hydro prices in Ontario have risen an average of 56% for the average customer over the past ten years.

-With files from The Canadian Press