Letters to the Editor

Why pay for service that’s not provided?

I have complained to BC Hydro via telephone approximately a dozen times over the past three years regarding the reading of my analog meter.

For the first 11 years (since 1997) at this residence, there hasn’t been any issues with meter reading.  The circumstances regarding the reading of my meter were that BC Hydro was to call a day or so before reading my meter so that I could give them access to the meter (I have a digital answering machine).  The meter is located in a locked garage. For privacy reasons I opted not to provide BC Hydro with a key.

In the past few years, since the smart meter program was introduced, my Hydro bill was almost always an estimate.  In a good year my meter was read twice versus the normal six times per year.  To date my meter has been read twice in the past 14 months. I have not changed my phone number since 1997. I have not altered access in any way.

Now BC Hydro has started charging a “legacy meter” fee in order for me to keep my analog meter.  I have argued both in writing and via telephone that this fee is nothing short of coercion in order to force me to accept a smart meter. To add insult to injury, BC Hydro has stated that they are authorized to charge this fee ($35) on a monthly basis regardless of whether they read the meter or not.

Essentially I am being charged for work that has not been performed.  A portion of this fee goes to maintaining BC Hydro’s meter reading department yet they have stated that they can charge it even on an estimate. They will not even credit my Hydro account for the portion earmarked for meter reading.

As I refuse to pay this fee, BC Hydro has threatened to cut power to my home, even though I have paid my usage and taxes in full. They are going to disconnect my service for not paying a fee that is partially responsible for meter reading.

So, BC Hydro wants me to pay for a service that they have not provided or they will disconnect my power. In a democratic society we call this dictatorship.


Gard Penny

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