Amherstburg woman joins hydro fight at Queen's Park

An Amherstburg woman's skyrocketing hydro bill drove her to protest high energy costs.

'I'm actually using my retirement savings to pay bills'

Cherie Beneteau travelled to Queen's Park to protest the rising cost of hydro. (Cherie Beneteau)

Cherie Beneteau saw her hydro bills more than double in recent months, despite her best efforts to conserve energy.

Frustrated with the skyrocketing prices to heat and light her home, the Amherstburg woman joined hundreds of angry Ontario residents to protest in front of Queen's Park Wednesday afternoon.

Beneteau has struggled to keep up with her bills after losing her job when the company moved to the U.S. She is also living on a single income. Her husband died of lung cancer three years ago.

Seeing her hydro bill jump to $485, up from about $200, was a shock, she told CBC News.

"I'm actually using my retirement savings to pay bills," Beneteau said. "And renovate my house so I can sell it."

Crowd gathers at Queen's Park to protest the high cost of hydro. (Cherie Beneteau)

Beneteau has energy efficient appliances, but still the bills remain too high. Recently, she stopped using her furnace to bring down the cost.

She recently started charging her son rent in the family home because she needs the help. She doesn't want to accept the money, but says hse has no choice.

Having hydro bills drop would go a long way to covering her monthy expenses. 

"It means being able to buy more groceries," Beneteau said. "I'm not even wearing a winter coat and I'm out here."