Ombudsman report details dispute between senior with breathing disorder, SaskPower

A Saskatchewan senior complained to the province's ombudsman after SaskPower cut off his electricity, despite the man making regular payments for a delinquent account.

Senior had been making regular $200 payments, power still cut off

A senior went to the provincial ombudsman after his power was turned off by SaskPower. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

A Saskatchewan senior complained to the province's ombudsman after SaskPower cut off his electricity, despite the man making regular payments for a delinquent account.

The senior and the Crown corporation came to an agreement which saw him make regular $200 payments and a load limiter installed.

Identified only as Matthew by the ombudsman, the man uses a CPAP machine and an air purifier for sleep because of a breathing disorder, likely sleep apnea. He is also described as being of "limited means."

The report said tenants had left Matthew with a large, unpaid bill and a fire in his home added additional expenses. Despite this, he made the $200 payments for five months and even paid $400 during one of those months.

Without notice, despite the agreement with SaskPower, his electricity was cut off.

SaskPower told the ombudsman they were getting tougher on delinquent accounts and since it was no longer winter, the electricity was disconnected.

The Crown corporation said it would review the file due to the "complex" nature of Matthew's living situation.

They agreed to reconnect his power but Matthew would have to pay a lump sum. They also increased his monthly payments to $210.

A family member helped Matthew with the lump sum and his power was subsequently reconnected.

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