Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary By Brent Royce, OFA Director
Ontario farmers have an improved process for addressing on-farm electrical issues with Hydro One.
The new Farm Rapid Response Team has been developed by Hydro One in partnership with Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) to deal with issues including stray voltage, ground current and power quality.
The new centralized approach will help identify, assess and mitigate on-farm electrical issues.
Stray voltage and ground current are significant electrical issues that have been a serious concern for some Ontario farmers for decades.
These occurrences of uncontrolled electricity, or constant underground electrical current, flow in the ground or in barns and are dangerous.
Animals can be exposed to shocks transmitted through barn floors, milking equipment and water bowls. Livestock exposed to uncontrolled electricity may have lower production, stop eating or drinking, or exhibit other odd behaviour.
Some long term exposures can even result in death.
OFA has been working in partnership with Hydro One to address and resolve ground current challenges impacting Ontario farm businesses since 2013.
Hydro One’s collaboration with OFA and their commitment to this serious issue are important steps to resolving these issues that can cause serious problems on Ontario farms.
OFA welcomes this new working relationship and the creation of the Farm Rapid Response Team.
The province-wide team of specialists will provide Hydro One farming customers with a new streamlined and simplified approach to manage on-farm electrical issues and is committed to delivering more consistent, timely responses to issues.
The Farm Rapid Response Team will work with customers from start to finish – including registering concerns, escalating an issue, providing understandable written reports, and a dedicated phone number with contact for the duration of the resolution process.
The new province-wide Farm Rapid Response Team service is expected to be in place by Summer 2016.
Watch for details about how to contact the new service team at ofa.on.ca.
This is the first step in building a new working relationship to move farm issues ahead at Hydro One.