Following a new law passed in the fall of 2015, Hydro One’s independent Board of Directors appointed its first Ombudsman, in order to help the company deliver just, fair, and equitable services to the public. The Hydro One Ombudsman reports to the Board of Directors and, as an office of last resort, looks at complaints about the operations of Hydro One Inc. and its three subsidiaries, Hydro One Networks, Hydro One Remote Communities, and Hydro One Telecom.
To put it more simply, the Ombudsman’s office is the place to turn to when you haven’t been able to solve your problem with Hydro One or its subsidiaries. Our services are free and confidential. The team is here to help.
Our job is to address your complaint when something has gone wrong with the company’s services and operations. We do this in the most effective, timely, and fairest manner possible. In fact, fair service and fair treatment are our central concerns. There are many aspects to fairness: the process has to be fair – this is called procedural fairness; the decision must be fair – this is called substantive fairness; finally, there is the issue of equity – treating people fairly does not always mean treating them the same. We will use these three aspects of fairness when we look at the services and activities of the company.
When you complain to the office of the Hydro One Ombudsman, we will try to resolve your problem through discussion or mediation with you and Hydro One. If that fails, and depending on the facts, we may launch a formal investigation, especially if your issue affects a large number of other people or there is something in the system that may not be working well. This would be a systemic investigation – an investigation into problems or patterns that happen over and over again or are broader in scope than an individual’s complaint. Because it goes further than a single person, a systemic investigation has the biggest potential to get at root causes of problems and improve the services and activities of Hydro One. The Hydro One Ombudsman can also initiate an investigation without a complaint if they think something may be wrong or needs improvement with a set of policies or delivery of a service.
Hydro One has embraced the idea of an independent Ombudsman because of the benefits it can bring to the company. While having this role creates an important independent third party to improve services for everyone, it also enhances the credibility and reputation of the company. By addressing complaints and improving relations with its customers, Hydro One will be able to improve its services, its reputation, and the value of the company.
The Office of the Hydro One Ombudsman promises you that our office will be fair, impartial, tenacious, and thorough in our fact-finding and recommendations. We will give you clear information about the course of our work and provide reasons for our decisions. If you do not like what we have done, you can always take your complaint to Hydro One’s regulator, the Ontario Energy Board. Our aim is to make sure you won’t have to.