Letter: Electricity rates have almost tripled under Fortis

Since Fortis took ownership, costs immediately began to rise from around .04 cents per Kw/h to the current .11769 cents.

To the editor:

Re: Electricity rates.

I have noted in recent issues of the Capital News an increasing number of letters complaining with dismay over the high cost of electricity as provided by Fortis via their two-tier billing system.

I have lived in this fair city for 27 years and built my current home in 1989. At that time I was encouraged by the local supplier, then West Kootenay Power to install a heat pump system with electric backup heating as the most economical use of electricity. I have upgraded the system over the years. I was satisfied with the system in providing clean, dust-free heating at a reasonable price.

When West Kootenay was sold and subsequently passed through several owners ending with Fortis, costs immediately began to rise from around .04 cents per Kw/h to the current .11769 cents. Fortis has consistently, year by year, applied for rate increases amounting to almost tripling the rates.

It would appear that the British Columbia Utilities Commission hasn’t seen a rate increase it didn’t like.

Fortis begins charging the new rate (temporarily of course) before it is formally approved. These power companies encouraged and supported consumers to use systems that are now prohibitive to operate. I can afford their rates but I am sure there are many, particularly pensioners, who can’t.

I recall recently of a single, pensioner lady living in a mobile home park receiving a bill of over $1,100 for two months. I know from my own neighbours that bills ranged from $750 to $1,145. These companies encouraged the use of electricity during the times when it was their only source of revenue but now that they are in gas distribution as well they have abandoned or are forcing the very people they encouraged to switch through higher rates many people can’t afford.

There could be some form of rate relief for those homes using electric heating. I can recall some years ago Manitoba Hydro had separate rates for home heating.

Finally if, as some of your readers say, the BC Hydro rates are 24 per cent lower than Fortis, then the BCUC should be taking some positive action to equalize the costs to consumers rather rubber stamping rate increases for Fortis.

I would encourage your readers who are caught in this dilemma to not only write to the Cap News but also to Fortis and the BC Utilities Commission.

Edward Gaillard,

Kelowna

 

Just Posted

Wintry weather to roll into Southern Interior

The Southern Interior is expected to get a snowstorm followed by freezing temperatures.

Tim Hortons delivers smiles for YMCA Kids

$29,000 raised through sale of cookies with proceeds to struggling kids and families in the Okanagan

Community Leader Awards: Anja Dumas

The Kelowna Capital News puts the spotlight on community leaders with annual awards

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Blowing snow, slippery sections on Okanagan Connector

Compact snow, poor visibility on Highway 97 from Pennask Summitt to Brenda Mines.

Santa’s helpers take treats to an Okanagan retirement home

Santa’s Little Helpers surprised an Okanagan retirement home with chocolates, flowers and cupcakes.

Amtrak derails over the I-5 in Washington Stage

Injuries and casualties reported, according to sheriff

Rib Fest smashes fundraising goal

Annual Kelowna event goes through the roof with fundraising efforts

Mental effects of wildfire still linger in Fort McMurray

‘Resilient, but tired:’ Mental effects of wildfire lingering in Fort McMurray

Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

AP Exclusive: Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

Calgary Flames thump Vancouver Canucks 6-1

Mark Giordano, Sam Bennett lead the way as Flames thump Canucks 6-1

Cyclist struck in morning crash

RCMP are on scene of an accident this morning Highway 97 and 27th Street

Former Penticton Pinnacles Football coach sues club

Ezra Cremers is suing the Pinnacles Football Club for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract

Homicide detectives now probing billionaire couple’s death

Police release cause of death of Barry and Honey Sherman as “ligature neck compression”

Most Read