The short answer is yes they can.
there are certain criteria that needs to be met:
The disconnection must be done between Dec 1 and Apr 1 (I believe)
and you must receive a written notice of disconnection 7 days prior to the disconnection
If you live in an apartment OR an inside unit of a townhouse complex,
you can be disconnected
If you do not live in an apartment or an inside unit of a townhouse complex,
then you cannot be disconnected immediately.
Hydro One does reserve the right to place an interrupting device at your meter.
This typically takes the form of one of two types
- A load limiter.
This will allow you to run a small number of electrical items in your house at any given time (like a furnace and a stove).
If you exceed the limits of the load limiter then the device will interrupt your power until you go to the meter and reset the device
- A timer.
This will interrupt your electricity at random times of the day for a random timeframe
If after 10 days the bill has not been paid in full or arrangements to pay the bill in full,
then Hydro One has the right to remove the interrupting device and not restore power.
You might want to go to the Hydro One website and look at their conditions of service to confirm this,
or go to the Ontario Energy Board`s website as they define the rules for winter disconnections