Letters: Extortion from hydro

Extra charge for keeping old analog meter viewed as extortion

BC Hydro is forcing our hands when they give us two choices in three lines. Either we as the ratepayers submit willingly to bullying tactics or pay extortion fees.

Extortion is defined as: 1. The crime of getting money from someone by the use of force or threats:  2. The act or practice of extorting especially money or other property; especially  the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice:   something extorted; especially :  a gross overcharge.

We’ve been given the following choices:

Smart meter – no cost (Which really means I gave in to the bullying/intimidation tactics employed by BC Hydro because I do not want my rates to go up);

Radio-off meter – set-up and monthly operating fees (Extortion rate: $100 initial setup + $20 monthly)

($100 + $240 per meter / first year = $340,000 per 1,000 customers who don’t want the smart meter radios);

Keep an old (analog/digital) meter – monthly operating fees (Extortion rate: $35 monthly)

($420 per meter / per year = $420,000 per 1,000 customers who decline smart meters).

Where is the defense of our rights as ratepayers/voters, isn’t this a public utility, if so, where is our right to decide? As our only choice for hydro, BC Hydro has an unfair advantage. In having that advantage they are imposing these extortion fees and forcing us to either switch to a smart meter or pay to keep our old meters.

Why isn’t BC Utilities Commission protecting the interests of ratepayers? I think it is because although they’re mandate is to protect the interests of ratepayers, they are also supposed to allow utility shareholders an opportunity to earn a fair return on their invested capital. The B.C. government is the only shareholder and the government passed the Clean Energy Act which exempted projects such as Site C, Northwest Transmission Line and smart meters from commission review. Because the government protected their self interest in 2010 when they exempted the smart meters from any form of control by the regulatory commission, it means the commission that is supposed to protect our interest has been restrained from doing what they were established to do, by the same body that benefits from the imposed restraints.

None of this seems legal to me, I feel there should be a criminal investigation into extortion, breach of trust, collusion and corruption of all of the players involved in this smart meter program and the whole BC Hydro scandal.

Stu James

 

Sooke

Just Posted

Sooke residents remember

Hundreds turn out for Remembrance Day ceremony

Team Canada athlete pens open letter to City of Victoria about Crystal Pool

Karmen McNamara says an extended closure of the recreation facility would be ‘devastating’

Bluegrass Christmas concert sparks season of giving

Tenth annual show and fundraiser held on Dec. 1 at Cordova Bay United Church

Victoria’s Wild ARC facility welcomes new roof thanks to a rush of donations

The animal rehabilitation centre was in desperate need of repairs after 21 years

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read