LETTER: Is BC Hydro’s Step Two rate discriminatory?

“This charge is strictly a penalty and has nothing to do with the cost of energy.”

Dear editor,

BC Hydro charges .0442 cents, as a penalty, if a person exceeds the 644 to 732-kilowatt hours BC Hydro determines is the maximum amount of energy a person should use in one month. The step one usage keeps changing and seems to lower in the colder months so a person moves to the step two rate faster during the colder months.

This charge is strictly a penalty and has nothing to do with the cost of energy.

I believe this charge is discriminatory to stay at home parents looking after small children and senior citizens who remain at home all day and are unable to turn down their thermostats as people that go to work during the day can do.

This charge is also discriminatory to Hydro customers who do not live in the natural gas corridor.If we had the option of using low cost natural gas to heat our homes and hot water tanks, use natural gas stoves, fire places, on demand hot water and clothes dryers we could use far less electrical energy.

BC Hydro should not charge a Step Two rate to customers who do not live in the natural gas corridor and have the option of an alternate source of energy.

I have written twice to the Honourable Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources requesting the Step Two rate be removed from BC Hydro billing for consumers outside of the natural gas corridor, but I have never received a response.

The governments do not want people to use fossil fuels and have imposed a carbon tax penalty as incentive to move to alternate sources of energy, but they are also making the alternate sources extremely expensive.

Here is the contact information for Michelle Mungall:

PO Box 9060, Station Prov Gov, Victoria, BC, V8W9E2

EMPR.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Telephone: 250-953-0900

Jack Masterman,

Port Hardy

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