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Energy board denies Toronto Hydro rate hike

The Ontario Energy Board has denied Toronto Hydro’s bid to raise rates by about $5 a month per household.

The utility wanted to raise monthly rates to upgrade its aging infrastructure to the tune of $1.5 billion over the next three years, arguing that an inflation-based rate increase would not provide them the money they need.

The union says Toronto’s grid — mostly built in the 1950s and 1960s — is nearing the end of its life expectancy, which means more power outages and service disruptions.

“Due to the gravity of this decision, Toronto Hydro must now take some time to assess the effect on its operations and determine the steps necessary to comply with the OEB’s order,” it said in a statement following the decision Thursday night.

“This has far reaching ramifications that will impact not only customer service, safety and reliability, but employees within the utility and other industries and suppliers.”

“This will likely result in deteriorating service, an increase in power outages, an increased risk to public safety, slower call centre response times, as well as the likelihood of major workforce downsizing.”

Toronto Hydro began an infrastructure renewal program in 2005.