Summertime and the livin’ is easy, as an old song goes. But is it just the lull before the storm for those of us who have chosen to keep our Analog Hydro Meters for health and safety reasons? BC Hydro says we’ll have to pay an extra fee for doing so by December or face disconnection. Hydro has sent out letters suggesting that we pay this extra $32.40 ($36.00 with tax in my case) voluntarily per month. But why won’t they include it as a part of our monthly bill under the equal payment plan? Could it be because they know this fee is extortion and extortion is a crime? They’ll tell you that they need this extra money in order to read the meter (something which they’ve always managed to do previously at no extra charge). But my meter is read only bi-monthly and estimated every other month. So the fee is charged whether the meter is read or not. Furthermore, Hydro is violating Section 26 of the Utilities Commission Act, which promises us fair and reasonable rates for all their customers. This also means that their not so independent friends in the B.C. Utilities Commission are disregarding their own rules.
Jim Ervin, Burnaby