Friday, July 3, 2009


Ottawa has a strange system for setting up utility accounts. I used the internet to set up services at the hydro and gas companies but couldn't find an application for the water/sewer/garbage services.

The City of Ottawa web page has contact information for the revenue department but no account setup service. When I phoned the revenue department, they informed me that my account had already been set up and my name was on the bill, effective on the purchase date.

I'm not sure who set this up for me (the lawyer, the sellers, ???) and now I'm wondering what else they signed me up for. Hopefully they set me up for a free cruise, kitchen makeover, choice of car or cash giveaway. Being signed up for free stuff would be much better than being signed up for utility bills.

Each area in Canada has a different set of criteria for setting up accounts. When I lived in the regional district in Comox I had to hire a private company to collect the garbage because the district didn't provide service. I didn't know this, however, until I saw the truck drive by and pick up all the neighbour's garbage while leaving mine at the end of the driveway.

When I moved to Kingston I set up an account with Utilities Kingston, not realizing that hydro and gas companies were separate entities. I found out my mistake when the gas was shut off and there was no hot water for two days. Luckily it was September so I didn't need a functioning furnace at the time.

Have any of you had difficulty setting up utility services during any of your moves?


chrisrawk said...

I had difficulties here in Van. It seems kind of funny now, but when I first got here the landlord told me that I was responsible for "BC Hydro" - but I didn't know that means the electric company. I thought it was the water utility!

I had problems the BC Hydro and TV/internet hooked up because the previous tenant didn't pay their bills. At first the utility companies didn't believe that I wasn't the deadbeat. I had to get my landlord to call each of them before they'd start a new account for me.

Balcony Babe said...

That must have been very frustrating to be branded as a dead beat because of the previous tenant's actions. I imagine that sort of situation happens a lot in a city the size of Vancouver.

It was a good thing that your landlord was willing to step up and vouch for you. If not, who knows what would have happened.

Eric said...

Chrisrawk, It could have been much worse. I once had the police show up at my appartment in Winnipeg looking for the previous guy.