I would like to respond to Diane Roy, vice president of Fortis, regarding the article she wrote (January 17) justifying the five-year implementation of the new one rate for all electrical users.
I must say that reading her column caused my stomach to turn. All of a sudden Fortis is all concerned for the poor ratepayers and how going back to one rate will affect 70 per cent of the population. Where was this concern when they implemented the two-tier system and caused severe financial hardship to 30 per cent of their electrical users, of which approximately 8.4 per cent saw bills increase over 10 per cent a year?
I don’t remember a five-year implementation back then. This two-tier system greatly affected homeowners that had no alternative but to use electricity to heat their homes. Once again, where was Fortis when we were complaining of how unfair this new two-tier billing was? It wasn’t until they were faced with hundreds of letters from customers and push-back by politicians did they reluctantly agree to move this back.
Even now they continue to slap 30 per cent of the population with excessive bills which cause us to subsidize the majority of the population by one cent a KWH and will continue for five more years.
Where is the compassion for ratepayers who have been robbed and will continue to be robbed for another five years?
This company should be made to retroactively pay back all the overpayments we have made collectively to Fortis because of the two-tier system. It also shows there is something wrong with the review process put in place to oversee their rate changes.
How the BC Utilities Commission did not see how unfair this two-tier rate was is hard to understand. The notion that this was put in place to encourage homeowners to save money is a total joke when, by their owns stats, 70 per cent were saving money without any effort at conserving electricity and the rest of us who have no choice but to use electricity to heat our homes ended up subsidizing them.
If this company really cared about ratepayers and being fair it would immediately go to one rate and treat all ratepayers equally.
So please, Diane Roy, vice-president of Fortis, next time you write an article maybe you should sit back and take the view of all those ratepayers you are presently robbing and want to continue robbing for the next five years. I would surely like to see your justification for that in the paper.
Norm Gaumont, Vaseux Lake