PUC customers want answers


PUC customers are looking for some answers, claiming they have recently seen a surprising increase in their bills. Many took to a local Facebook group to vent their frustrations.

They claim a third-party contractor tasked with obtaining water meter readings had not been conducting any readings for a months-long period beginning in March of this year.

They say they have since been blindsided by exceedingly high utility bills.

PUC says it does use a third-party contractor – which they did not identify – to conduct meter readings, adding that they had put a stop to in-person readings in and around houses in the interest of health and safety in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The utility says in the absence of in-person readings, they estimated consumption between March and the Phase 3 reopening and that customers were informed of this on their bills.

However, some customers claim they were not notified.

Some are also questioning why outdoor meter readings were suspended and why customers themselves were not able to read the meters and send in the readings to the utility.

PUC does acknowledge that a change in electricity rates in Ontario and the move from estimates to actuals on water reads may be causing some high utility bills and what they call “affordability challenges.”

One PUC customer referred to their bill increase as “shocking.”

PUC says estimated readings are never the same as actual readings, and that some customers will see a larger increase based on consumption.


  1. there is no reason for a increase in rates ,, nothing has changed, nothing has been improved other then u see them driving new vehicles. When in fact with everything going on where is our government stopping them from these increases. Total scam an they have been for a very long time.

  2. yep it seems like most of our bills went up at least a hundred bucks including mine not doing anything differently like what is going on?

  3. MY concern is this,we were to get a pause on the city part of the water bill,but when they estimated for those months and finally read the meter,the city part of the water bill was on the read part for three months.my city part of the bill was 3 times what it should have been.

  4. I agree with Laura who stated the PUC should not be outsourcing anything to a Third Party. Also, there is absolutely No reason why the PUC did not have their employees continue to get the Meter Readings through the Pandemic as these readings are all taken outdoors…There is nothing safer than the Great Outdoors! PUC, you have now caused undue hardship once again to the people of Sault Ste. Marie…and at a time when almost everybody is struggling…Thanks alot!!

  5. Our bill went double in price for the second time now. Our lifestyle didn’t change at all even though there is Covid. My wife and I are both essential workers full time and not home on the daytime. This is not fair at all.

  6. Someone mentioned that due to Covid people have been home more and using their utilities more. Retired people have been home all along, we personally have changed nothing, if nothing else doing even less – so how could my bill be $100 more within the last 2 months?

  7. Mine went up from $215 last month to $280 this month. And it was only $185 in July. Didn’t use any thing different. Only air conditioning a couple of times.🤔

  8. My equal billing went up starting this month. Even though my actual meter readings were on averaged out to be $60 cheaper per month than I’m now paying.

        • No you need to thank Mike Harris . He is the Conservative leader that lead the deregulation of hydro utilities and therefore the defunding, privatization, undermining of system maintenance and the vast wealth of a very few of his “friends”. Never trust a conservative!

          • You are so wrong it was Wynne and the Liberals who subsidized the building of the windmills and solar farms the two most expensive ways to produce power.Windmills have been in Europe for thousands of yrs and no companies wanted to build them or operate them because they are good for nothing so Wynne signed lucrative contracts to get them built. Also if you remember it was Wynne who started selling off Hydro One to balance the budget. If what Mike Harris did was so wrong why didn’t Wynne fix it the Liberals were in power for 15 yrs

  9. PUC being a local company of Sault Ste Marie should not be out sourcing anything much less meter readers or anything else, this is a continuous problem with not only PUC bug the City of Sault Ste Marie, who owns PUC, don’t preach shop local if your not going to do it, this is what happens with outsourcing every single time

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