Allan Robinson says he and his wife, Debbie, saved for a lifetime to build their new home in Minden Hills, Ont.
Even though construction of the home is almost complete, Robinson says they can’t move in any time soon because they can’t afford to pay Hydro One the $60,000 the utility wants to hook up the electricity.
“That’s way out of our budget. Especially when it’s, like, a third of the cost we spent [building] the house,” Robinson, 60, told CBC News.
The Robinsons live on County Road 1, a scenic stretch of municipal road that’s dotted with numerous homes and businesses just outside the town of Minden, 193 kilometres northeast of Toronto.
Their new home is built on a two-and-a-half-kilometre stretch of the road where there’s a gap in the power lines. The nearest hydro pole is about 440 metres west of their home.
Hydro One, which serves 1.5 million predominantly rural customers in Ontario and reported a $238-million profit in the second quarter of 2021, says the couple has to cover the expense to extend the line from the existing pole to their property, then sign over ownership of the line once they’ve paid for it.
Robinson says they fully expected to pay the utility to run hydro about 35 metres from the road to their new home, but never thought they’d have to pay to install poles and a line on a public road as well.
“They’re waiting for homeowners to pay to fix this,” he told CBC News.
Robinson says before he and his wife bought the vacant property 15 years ago, the utility told them the gap in the hydro line along County Road 1 would soon be connected to the existing lines.