Saturday, March 3, 2012
Skyrocketing Hydro Bills
The news has been showing numerous cases of people reporting skyrocketing Hydro bills. Recently there was a case of a senior who lived in a small suit who reported insane jumps in his hydro bill. After the news ran the story, Hydro claimed they looked into it and the problem was someone mistakenly applied a $170.00 payment to his bill which was being recouped. Yet that alleged payment was smaller than the spike in his bill and he is not the only one. Their excuse is not believable.
Today CTV news reported several people reporting massive spikes in their hydro bill in the last couple of months. Many claimed the huge spikes in their hydro bill came after their smart meter was installed. BC Hydro claims that isn’t true and that they are receiving more complaints of spikes in bills from people on the old meter systems.
Clearly there are two separate problems. Smart Meters are a serious concern. Aside from the security threat of government surveillance, increases over daytime usage bills are eminent. Yet those spikes which surely will come aren’t included in the current spikes. The current spikes represent a huge concern.
Hydro subsidiaries that have been privatized and mandated to make a profit, were accused of false billing along with Enron. Massive spikes in residential hydro bills are in themselves a serious concern. It represents an unaccountable monopoly that can rip people off without any dispute mechanism. Where did this bill come from?
Today’s highlighted example was a woman in a small suite with only two baseboard heaters. There is no believable reason for the massive spike in her bill. She has been forced to cut off the heat in one room and forced to use a toaster oven instead of a conventional oven. I don’t want to be a perpetual drama queen but this is really serious.
This is not the country we want to leave to our children’s children. Leaving them an unaccountable Enron monster that consumes everything in its path would be socially irresponsible. Right now it is forcing seniors on fixed income to limit their food intake, cut of their heat, stop using their ovens and wash dishes by hand. Massive increases to their bill after they have made these sacrifices is not only wrong, it is criminal.