Okay, the cat’s out of the bag. FortisBC has just discovered that all of us have been secretly growing money trees in our backyards.
That’s why the company has applied for yet another rate increase (3.3 per cent for 2014).
Sorry, Fortis, we’ve had these trees all along and were keeping them a secret because we’re greedy. We have piles of one hundred dollar bills (with the stems still on them) stacked under our floorboards.
As gluttonous consumers of electricity, we feel badly for publicly complaining about these constant rate hikes and for signing the petitions to stop them. The truth is we can afford to keep reaching into our deep pockets to line yours, and we know the BC Utilities Commission doesn’t rubber stamp all your requests to make us pay through the nose. The fact is we deserve it, although our nostrils are starting to flare.
Us consumers forgive you for totally ignoring our pleas to stop the increases, even though we thought you wouldn’t dare apply for another rate hike so soon after our incessant complaints. You’re a company with high-paid executives and shareholders who all want a piece of the pie, so we realize you have to look after them first.
Seriously, because of the recent backlash, one would think the company would lay low for a while and not even whisper the words “rate increase.” Come back in another three years and we might be a little more accommodating. We’re trying very hard to understand the company’s last press release, which acknowledges that customers’ main concern is the cost of electricity (and its reliability). The release states FortisBC is trying to address the need to minimize rate hikes . . . . with a rate hike. Did we miss something here? Oh, rising power costs, the proverbial broken record.
However true, consumers and those on fixed incomes can only take so much. Our money tree seeds are running out and our neighbours have vicious dogs guarding some smelly plants that seem to suck up a lot of power.
In the meantime, FortisBC is reviewing the residential conservation rate and drafting a report with public input. We urge the company to use the petitions, but we doubt it will. That would be totally unfair, even though it would accurately reflect what people are really thinking. Remember, as the press release states, most customers benefit from the conservation rate, yet we are still trying to determine if these people truly exist.
The utilities commission should not approve anymore increases until the review of the conservation rate is complete.