Advocate urges residents to send hydro bills to government leaders

By on February 28, 2017

Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to management with FortisBC and the provincial government.

I’ve just received my electricity bill for the two-month period from Dec. 16 until Feb. 16 and the total amount was an incredible $1,178.05.

I know the last few months have been abnormally cold, but the biggest reason my bill is so high is because the Liberal government’s so-called “conservation rate” is nothing of the sort unless by conservation one means freezing in the dark.

As I have commented on time and time again, the two-tier electricity rate is simply a “tax” on all residents who use electricity for space and water heating.

It charges residents, such as myself, an electricity rate that is way above the cost of generating that electricity.

And to make matters worse, the amount of the “tax”, and the “tax rate” itself automatically increase whenever the weather gets colder since that places a larger proportion of my consumption in the second tier.

This “tax” is completely unjustified and is in violation of the BC Utilities Commission Act which forbids discriminatory rates such as this one.

The Liberal government continues to drag its heels in responding to the concerns that affected residents have expressed to them.

In fact, they continue to deny that there is actually a problem.

The BCUC has been “studying” the matter for almost two years, but may well hold off submitting its report to the government until after the provincial election in early May.

I am, therefore, asking all affected residents (i.e. those using electricity to heat their homes and heat their water) to send copies of their recent electricity bills to our MLA, Linda Larson, with copies to the Premier of B.C. Christy  Clark and the NDP Opposition Leader John Horgan.

By doing so, they will show proof that the government is making false statements when it argues that B.C.’s electricity rates are among the lowest in Canada and that residents like us have experienced “minimal” bill impacts as a result of the two-tier rates.

It is time for those suffering the consequences of this tax to make the government well aware that, unless they commit to removing it, they will not get our support during the upcoming May election.

Nick Marty

Anarchist Mountain, B.C.

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2 Comments

  1. Marc

    March 8, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Would it not be cheaper to purchase a wood stove and a couple cords of wood?

    The purpose of the two tier rate is to incentivize people to move away from inefficient electric heat.

    The rates aren’t going away so best to look for alternative solutions rather than beating one’s head against a brick wall, no?

  2. Ron Trottier

    March 9, 2017 at 3:54 am

    That’s hat the Liberals do. Look at Ontario we have the same problem, but worst. Just watch, the elections are coming and they’ll start making all kinds of false promises.

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