Hydro Ottawa recognizes that the electricity we deliver is an important service and we take our responsibility to provide safe, reliable service to our customers very seriously.
Despite the degree of sophistication of our electricity distribution system, there remain many circumstances beyond our control that give rise to unexpected power interruptions and voltage variations. Hydro Ottawa does not guarantee a constant power supply or provide assurance that voltages and frequency will be unvaried.
Many power outages are due to severe weather, wildlife, and accidents. Hydro Ottawa is not liable for damages from these causes.
If you have auto or property insurance, you may wish to consider contacting your insurance agent or broker to find out if your policy covers the damage incurred.
Damage claims resulting from the events listed below are usually not eligible for compensation. Please refer to the Ontario Energy Board's Distribution System Code and Hydro Ottawa’s Conditions of Service for more details.
- Severe weather, such as ice, lightning, winds, floods, storms
- Fallen trees/branches.
- Animal contact with equipment (i.e. squirrels, birds).
- Motor vehicle accidents involving utility poles.
- Unexpected equipment failure.
- Voltage changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hydro Ottawa will independently review your claim based on Hydro Ottawa’s Conditions of Service, which states that:
Hydro Ottawa does not guarantee a constant power supply or give assurance that voltages and frequency will be unvaried. Furthermore, Hydro Ottawa shall not be liable for damages to the Customer’s or Consumer’s equipment by reason of any failure in respect thereof.
Hydro Ottawa is not responsible for any loss of profits or revenues, business interruption losses, loss of contract or loss of goodwill, or for any indirect, consequential, incidental or special damages, including but not limited to punitive or exemplary damages.
Hydro Ottawa is typically not liable for damage caused by:
- Severe weather, flood, fire, lightning, or other forces of nature
- Animal contact (i.e. squirrels, birds)
- Unforeseen or unexpected equipment failure
- Damage to our equipment by other individuals or groups
- Motor vehicle or other accidents involving utility poles
It typically takes 60 days to review an individual claim. Once we receive your Damages Claim Form and supporting information / documentation, we begin an investigation to determine the cause of the incident. As every claim is unique, the time to investigate a particular claim can vary.
Once our investigation is complete, Hydro Ottawa formalizes the claim on your behalf and forwards a copy of your claim along with a copy of our investigation report to the General Liability Claims Administration Unit at MEARIE.
MEARIE specializes in handling claims for electricity distribution companies such as Hydro Ottawa. A MEARIE adjuster will review your claim and contact you directly if clarification or further information is required. You will receive written correspondence advising you as to the outcome of your claim directly from the MEARIE group.
Each claim receives full consideration and is evaluated on an individual basis. Settlements are based solely on the basis of the presence or absence of legal liability.
Although every claim and policy is different, we recommend contacting your insurance agent or broker to find out if you are covered for the damage.
There may be benefits to submitting a claim through your personal insurance:
- Hydro Ottawa is only liable to compensate you for the actual cash value (depreciated value) of your loss whereas your insurance policy may provide you with compensation to replace damaged items with new items.
- If you file a claim through your insurance company, they may elect to submit a damage claim against Hydro Ottawa on your behalf to recover some of the funds that they covered. If your insurance company’s claim against Hydro Ottawa is successful, they may reimburse your deductible.
Do not throw away any damaged items until a decision has been made on your claim.
Although we understand that some equipment may require immediate repair or replacement, it is important for you to understand that if you must proceed with the repair or replacement prior to the adjuster’s determination, you are doing so at your own risk. Whether these costs are covered depends on the decision of the adjuster.
No. Under the terms of our agreement with MEARIE, the adjuster must make any and all determinations related to your claim. We cannot advise you of the anticipated outcome of your claim.
Hydro Ottawa acknowledges receipt of all Claim for Damages Forms. Contact information will be provided to you at this time.
Once your claim has been forwarded to the adjuster, all inquiries must be addressed to MEARIE.
Six tips to protect your home or business
Protect your property from power surges with these simple tips:
Unplug valuable electronics
If severe weather is in the forecast, unplug what you can.
Limit the number of devices connected to a single outlet
Avoid overloading electrical outlets, especially in older homes. Only one major appliance should be plugged into an outlet.
Always use a surge protector
Plug sensitive or valuable electronics such as HDTVs and computers into a surge protector. Not all surge protectors are created equal – be sure to choose the right level of protection for your needs.
You may wish to consider ‘whole home’ surge protectors that can be installed on your panel.
Unplug any additional equipment not in use
Even turned off, electronics are still vulnerable to power surges if they're plugged in. Unplugging offers the best protection.
Consider backup generation
Portable generators can provide security and comfort during power outages. However, they can create electrical shock and fire hazards if connected or used incorrectly. Follow these tips to ensure you’re using a generator safely:
- Never use a generator indoors because they produce fatal carbon monoxide fumes; set them up outside away from windows, doors or vents to your house or your neighbour’s house;
- If you’re buying a generator, make sure it has a mark from an approved certification agency. Marks can be found on the ESA’s website;
- Don’t attach a portable generator directly to your home’s electricity system. It could cause electricity to flow back into the electricity grid and electrocute you or a utility worker, or damage the system;
- If you want to permanently connect your generator to your home’s system this requires an electrical permit. The generator should be connected by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
How to file a claim
Complete this form as soon as possible if you feel your damages are a result of Hydro Ottawa's negligence.
Subject: Claim for: < Customer Address >
Hydro Ottawa Limited
PO Box 8700
Ottawa, ON, K1G 3S4
Att: Hydro Ottawa Claims Management