To the editor:
A big thank you to Ken Umbarger for his timely research and letter on the activities of Fortis and the BC Utilities Commission (Rest of Province Pays Less Than Us for Power, March 29 Capital News).
It is a long story how Fortis came to be the provider of electricity to Kelowna and their interesting relationship with BCUC. The so-called new Residential Conservation Rates apparently grew out of their Power Sense program.
Now the BCUC folks do have a heavy work load as they are constantly bombarded with requests for rate changes and especially rate increases; however, does that explain the massive rate increases over the past couple of years?
Consider that our good government believes that our inflation rate is a little over one per cent a year. Now it was not too long ago that the going rate was around five cents a kilowatt hour. The two-step conservation rate is 6.8 cents a kilowatt hour and 12.95 cents a kilowatt hour. That is an over 35 per cent increase at the first step and an over 60 per cent increase at step two.
Hmm! And these are the folks that want to bring you smart meters.
energy conservation specialist (retired),