In response to the concerns raised by the farming community regarding stray voltage, the Ontario Legislature carried a motion on May 3, 2021, to “create a working group to examine the issue of ground current and to provide recommendations about developing best practices in order to protect people and livestock from stray voltage.”
The Ministry of Energy convened the Stray Voltage Working Group (SVWG), including members of the Ontario farming community and key stakeholders from across the electricity sector:
- Electrical Safety Authority
- Ontario Energy Board
- Hydro One Networks
- Electricity Distributors Association
- Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture
- Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario
- Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
The purpose and objectives of the SVWG were to discuss the issue of stray voltage from the perspective of both customers and electricity distribution professionals, and to identify resources and recommend opportunities to the government meant to help address stray voltage.
Animals exposed to low levels of stray voltage may experience tingling sensations that impact their behaviour and health. Through the consultation process the SVWG heard that despite existing regulatory frameworks and resources, stray voltage continues to impact farmers and livestock operations. The SVWG developed 10 comprehensive recommendations to the Government of Ontario for developing best practices to protect livestock from stray voltage.