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Hydro One says they are changing how they do business to better serve their customers

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Ferio Pugliese, vice president of customer care and corporate affairs for Hydro One, spoke to local business leaders Monday morning about a new focus on customer service. (HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW)

Ferio Pugliese, vice president of customer care and corporate affairs for Hydro One, spoke to local business leaders Monday morning about a new focus on customer service. (HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW)

Hydro One brass touched down in the Friendly City Monday in an effort to overhaul the public’s negative perception of the provincial utility giant.

“We’re here to do business and focus on the customer and community growth,” explained Ferio Pugliese, executive vice president of customer care and corporate affairs. “We want to let people know Hydro One is a different company and we’re changing the way we do business. We’re highly focused on being customer centric and focusing on the customer.”

The visit was part of the Get Local program, where Hydro One representatives go out and talk with members of the community.

“As people come and get the facts they find that we can help them,” he said.

Pugliese spoke at a Woodstock Chamber of Commerce event that drew local business leaders, a representative from the city’s economic department and Warden David Mayberry.

“Our main concerns are that people understand the system and how costs are generated and what Hydro One is doing in the future,” Pugliese said.

Pugliese said he is trying to educate the public and repair the utility’s relationship with their customers.

“There are still a lot of misconceptions,” he said. “People still think we are a generation business but we are a transmission and distribution company. We only represent 37 per cent of your bill on average.”

Pugliese also fielded concerns over a Hydro One application for a rate increase of 2.9 per cent that is up for approval in 2018.

“The bulk of that is due to a decline in load,” he said. “If the load goes down we still have to pay for the infrastructure.”

One of the main reasons people and businesses are using less hydro is due to energy conservation efforts.

Hydro One also requires new infrastructure to replace aging poles, wires, insulators and transformers.

The utility recently opened several customer service offices across the province including one located at 727 Exeter Road in London.

Visit www.HydroOne.com/GetLocal for more information.

HRivers@postmedia.com