November 23, 2016 5:12 pm
Updated: November 23, 2016 7:10 pm

Kingston, Ont. couple’s hydro restored after anonymous donor pays bill

WATCH: An anonymous donor has paid off the entire outstanding hydro bill of a Kingston, Ont. couple whose power was cut off by Hydro One in August. Marianne Dimain reports.


An anonymous donor has paid off the outstanding hydro bill of a Kingston, Ont. couple profiled by Global News on Monday.

READ MORE: Rising energy costs and poverty collide in rural Ontario

“To walk into a room and have light is amazing,” said Mel Kemp from the hallway of her three-bedroom home in Kingston, Ont.

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Kemp and her partner Peter Burnette had been without electricity since August when Hydro One cut off their power for not paying their bill.

Burnette is unemployed and Kemp works as a bus driver. They couldn’t keep up with their hydro payments, which added up to more than $3,000.

READ MORE: Andrea Horwath questions Kathleen Wynne over Global News hydro bill story

There’s been an outpouring of generosity from viewers since their story aired, and by Tuesday afternoon Kemp and Burnette’s power was restored.

Other viewers have offered monetary donations and to help with Burnette’s job search. A viewer in Ottawa also asked the Kingston Fire Department to install fire and carbon monoxide detectors in the couple’s home to keep them safe.

“I’m just so amazed that it happened,” said Kemp. “So thankful.”

“The generosity is just overwhelming. I can’t thank them enough,” added Burnette.

READ MORE: Kingston mother having to choose groceries over utility bills is ‘unacceptable’: Premier Wynne

The generosity didn’t end there.

On Tuesday, Global News aired the story of a single mother, also from Kingston, whose hydro was cut off when she couldn’t keep up with the bills. Once again viewers responded with monetary donations including one offering up to $2,000.

“I’m overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion that people in Canada have,” said the mother, who does not want to be identified.

“I wish that the government would have the same compassion for people who can’t pay their hydro bill.”

READ MORE: Ontario advises other provinces to keep an eye on hydro bills as coal phased out

Kemp and Burnette agree the government should do more to help families in need.

“You’d think the government would care about how the average citizen is living,” said Kemp.

“Hydro should be a basic necessity for everybody. We don’t think that people should have to go through this.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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