From August 2012 to August 2013 my hydro bill increased $600. A hydro employee telephoned me early one morning to advise me that our bill would be very large because it would include extra money to account for all the power we were using.
He said instead of the $140 per month we were paying on the equal payment plan they were now going to take $188. per month. We live in a 1000 sq. foot cottage and burn mostly wood in our stove for about 5 months per year. Our hydro bills should not be that large. It is possible we used extra electricity because we are building a house on our property but I doubt we used that much extra and we have made compensations based on that fact.
And the real problem is not knowing if we are really using this amount and why. I thought we (my husband and I) were monitoring our usage because I went on-line every month to check our usage. Only to learn that the amounts showing were always only estimates.
I only read the numbers so I didn’t see that at the top of each bill it said ‘this is an estimate’. So I thought we were using well below the $140 equal payment each month. So after the telephone call from the mystery hydro man that morning I called Hydro and they said that since we didn’t want to have a smart meter they were estimating our bills. However at the end of the year (our year is Aug to August) they did send someone down to read the meter and said that we had over spent by $600. So it is now my understanding from what they told me that we only had two meter readings for the entire year. But we did see the hydro truck on our property 3 or 4 times during the year.
So someone is lying to us. They said that those were the only times we had meter readings which just couldn’t be true. We didn’t imagine seeing the BC Hydro truck so why were those readings not recorded. It makes me think that there could be hydro employees who are actually manipulating things because they are angry with people who didn’t want the smart meter. Because of this fiasco I decided that we should get a smart meter installed and I told Hydro to come and install it.
Two or three days later they arrived and installed the meter. Now, to my complete amazement and shock I continue to get estimated meter readings. I phoned and complained and they said that our smart meter was not being read yet. But they sent me some very complicated material to do some kind of testing to see where I was using this extra hydro. This is just too complicated for my husband and myself. This info is so convoluted that I just don’t want to do it. I just want someone at Hydro – where there are so many hi-paid staff – to simply read my meter (either from the smart meter or on their computer) or come down and read it here at our property and give me an accurate account of what we are using.
I now pay $188. per month on the equal payment plan and I pay 62.14 to pay off the $600 debt I incurred last year – when we (according to hydro) were using all that extra hydro. There are several factors that would have increased our hydro but I think we balanced those factors out when we turned off all the heat to my husband’s garage workshop. I just cannot see how we could have used $600 extra dollars last year. Something is wrong with Hydro. And the official I spoke to on the telephone behaved like a rude ass. He blamed me for refusing a smart meter. Well, now that I succumbed to having one I am still not getting an honest reading of what hydro we are actually using.
I am angry and frustrated and just don’t know how to deal with hydro. I just want to know how much hydro I am actually and honestly using so I can conserve or do whatever to reduce the cost. My husband I are in our 70s and just cannot have these kinds of shocking and unexpected financial dramas as we live on pensions. Thank you for providing a forum for me to express my frustration. I just hope that someone somewhere reminds hydro staff that we pay for their big salaries and they should make some effort to serve us.
TO WHOM THAT CAN HELP,
I HAVE BEEN HAVING PROBLEMS WITH BILLING BY HYDRO ,I HAVE TRYED TO TALK TO THEM MANY TIMES AND MADE THEM GO BACK AND COMPARE MONTH TO MONTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE 100% INCREASE IN ARE BILLING .
MY CONCERNS STARTED AFTER FIRST BILL BECAUSE WE HAD JUST UP GRADED ALL ARE APPLIANCES TO ENERGY SMART THINKING OF LONG TERM SAVINGS NOW HYDRO CLAMED ARE USAGE IS MORE,ARE BRAKERS ARE DEFECTIVE,WE HAVE TO MANY THINGS ON AND THE BEST ARE TV AND ENERGY SMART APPLIANCES ARE PLUGED IN .(?)
I AM A GENERAL CONTRACTOR COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL I NEVER HERD SO MUCH RUBBISH . THE OTHER CONCERN IS THE PREVUES YEAR WE PUT UP XMAS DISPLAYS AND WERE HOME BUT FEW MONTHS BEFORE THE CHANGE MY WIFE OPENED UP HER OWN BUSINESS AND ARE NEVER HOME ONLY LATE EVENING AND GONE IN THE MORNING AND NEVER MORE THAN 2 LIGHTS AND TV .MY FAMILY IS 2 ADULTS 10 AND 2 YEAR OLD .
I HAVE CHECK WITH 2 HOUSE OLDS NEXT DOOR ONE FAMILY HAS 8 ADULTS AT HOME MOST OFF THE TIME AND THE OTHER WHO HAS 3 MAJOR COMPUTERS RUNNING 24 HOURS 4 TEEN KIDS 2 ADULTS (HE IS NET WORK OPERATOR ) AND BOTH FAMILIES BILL IS APROX 100.00 LESS THAN MINE. I HAVE EVERYTHING PROVE THE CHANGES BUT WHO DO I TALK TO? HELP
P.S. THE SIMILAR CHANGES IN BILLING ARE SHOW UP IN BILL AT MY WIFES BUSINESS.
Increased Hydro – BC – 2013
I am the administratrix for my mom’s estate and she was violently opposed to the smart meter being installed on her home. She passed in April 2012 and to support her wishes, I have not consented to BC Hydro installing their meter on her home. Because I’ve not consented to this, they have quit reading the meter on her home and instead are ‘estimating’ the charges.
The bill went from about $15 per month to over $45 per month.
When I called Hydro to complain and demand they go out and re-read the meter, I was told that they would not do that and that it was an estimate by how much the property had used the same time period last year. I told them that the house was empty of all power using appliances except the fridge. All other things had been destroyed in a flood that happened. Hydro told me too bad, if I want it changed I have to get a picture of the meter and send it in to be read.
I explained that the meter is at least 12 feet in the air and I’m just under 5 feet tall…again, I got the impression of ‘bad, so sad’…deal with it. I did get the photos’s Hydro wanted and I will be emailing them in and I will be demanding a significant refund.
The house sits empty and in winter when the furnace was running constantly I did not use $45/month of electricity. Our esteemed provincial leader is constantly telling us not to put up with bullying and yet she allows BC Hydro to bully us incessantly. I’m tired of it! Just my nickels worth.
Hydro is sending me inflated bills despite my phoning in meter readings; they sent a bill on July the 10th followed by a larger one for July 12, more than three times the one for January in a house with no air conditioner.
I have taken a photo of today’s reading but cannot send it via the email address given in your July 20th posting.
Any email address is rejected. Any suggestions?
I am trying to contact someone who is an expert in analogue meters… specifically, I would like to know if a meter that has been recalibrated is reset to zero on all the pointers before it is put back into service.
BC Hydro convinced me to allow them to swap out my existing analogue meter for one that had been recalibrated after I refused a smart meter.
Then they stopped billing me for 17 months, and when the bill finally arrived it totaled over $3400.00 dollars usage when the previous year was just under $1300.00
I have come to conclude that the meter swap was a con and would like some more info about the particulars of that type of meter.
Letter: Family will soon be living in the dark
by Kelsey Ulm – Kelowna Capital News – June 07, 2013
I recently read a letter in the Capital News regarding the high cost of electricity, written by Edward Gaillard (Electricity Rates Have Almost Tripled Under Fortis, April 18). [- http://www.kelownacapnews.com/opinion/letters/203467401.html]
I have been frustrated with my growing bills over the past year and finally decided it is time to say something. They are getting ridiculously expensive this past year and a bit and I am tired of it.
I first bought my home five years ago as a single mom, even then I was shocked at how high my bills could get. I called, got on an equalized payment plan that worked in my favour for the first year after that, but in the past two years I have not been able to catch up on my equalized bill payments with all the rate increases.
I looked at my past bill for the billing period Apr 25, 2013 to May 24, 2013. In my first block, my bill was $70.00, the second jumped to more than double that, $220.00.
The thing that bothers me most is that we are no longer heating the house, our air conditioning isn’t on yet either, and since it is lighter out there is little need for lights to be left on. I also unplug most of my appliances that are not in use.
I am 29 years old, married now, and we have one 11-year-old son. I am not the kind of woman who spends money frivolously on clothing, I do not get my nails and hair done, but I would like to give my child the opportunity to participate in sports and camps like most parents. We live modestly, and to be honest we kind of have to due to your high rates.
I have spoken with many friends in a similar situation, the end result is that due to all of the big bills, we are forced to make big changes to help ourselves. It is hard enough to get ahead these days as it is, so we have no choice to look at other heating options like pellet stoves for example.
It may cost more upfront, but at the pace my Fortis bill keeps rising, how are we supposed to own homes, raise families and keep our head above water when at times, electric bills can end up being as much as a mortgage payment.
I am hoping to be heard not just for myself and my family, but for all the young families out there.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
We (many residents) of Fort Nelson have seen a 100 to 300 percent increase in consumption which Hydro is billing us for since Nov of 2012,I have traveled a # of avenues to try to get this mess straightened out for myself and many others in this community but to no avail.
Seems we are at a dead end and need help as this is purely a theft by hydro out of us honest hardworking people. Thanks so much!!
We went out of the country for 3 month from November 3 to January 30/2013 before we left we switched off all the electrical breakers in our condo. As we returned on January 30/2013 our account was charged by BC Hydro in amounts more than 400 dollars for consumption. During this 3 month. The BC Hydro state that consumption is the same as every year.
But point we had been away last year and switched off breakers also. So we had to pay over 400 dollars for the time our breakers complete had been off. We have impossible time to prove. Our phone. Internet, tv, gas were switched off at the same time. We happy to provide West Jet prove in regards to purchased return tickets during this period that include the dates of our absence. BC Hydro provided ” prove that inspector meter reader read the consumption, when it states that because of smart meters no inspectors attend the site.
We are trying to find out how we can get our smart meter removed.
We had a notice posted by our meter in the fall, which somehow ended up on the ground? I phoned Corix and told them we did not want one installed. I also phoned B.C. Hydro. I made another notice in January.
On Jan. 21 they installed our meter without consent.
Our baseboard heat system stopped working, and we had to turn it off using the breaker. It was set at 17 and read 24. We could not control it using the thermostat.
We received a bill in Feb. for $1600.00, which is about 100% more than it usually is. Nobody has any answers.
I was not informed that I was having a smart meter installed at my home until the power went out one day and when I went out to look into it, the BC HYDRO installer was already half way finished installing it.
That was April of last year and since then, I am continuing to receive almost 900.00 of unsolicited charges. The day it was installed, I was automatically billed 4 different bills ranging from 180.00-400.00 and alas now have huge outstanding bills with BC Hydro and threats of disconnection all the time.
I am a single parent and cannot go without power with a toddler. How do they justify this to BC residents? “IT’S NOT THE SMART METER”
Well, 900.00 a month says it is, when my previous 6 year consumption was no more then 200.00 IN WINTER.
My husband and I moved in to a 10th floor 750 Sq ft apartment in Vancouver, BC on Nov. 1st 2012 with baseboard heat. Previous to moving in to this new apartment we had been living in a drafty first floor apartment in Vancouver where we had to run a portable heater to stay warm (the radiators did not work well in that apartment.) Our electric bill in the previous apartment ranged about $85.00 every two months in the winter months.
When we moved to the 10th floor apartment, we were shocked when we got our first bill of $168 for 16 days of kilowatt usage. We asked our apartment manager how much electric bills run for the apartments in this building. We were told by the apartment manager (who lives in out building) that her heating electric bills run about $42 a month in the winter.
My husband called BC Hydro on 11/27 to dispute the bill. The BC Hydro representative told him they would investigate the problem with the high bill. The BC Hydro rep told him the amount billed was an estimate based on the previous resident’s power usage. BC Hydro told my husband to get the current meter reading and call him back. My husband then had the apartment manager to let him in to the area where the meters are kept. There were two meters in the meter room with our apartment number on them. One of the meters had the apartment number of 1001 on it, which was scratched out and rewritten above was our apartment number. Another meter located right next that meter also had our apartment number on it. My husband read the 2nd meter with our apartment # on it and called BC Hydro back with the information.
The bill was eventually readjusted to reflect what we thought was an accurate reading and we paid $19.40 the readjusted amount billed. Weeks later we received another bill with a billing date of January 21st, 2013 in the amount of $357.83 covering 63 days of kilowatt consumption of 3518. We were shocked! We only turn on one baseboard heater in the apartment and we always make sure the heater is turned off every night, even in the winter.
The $358 bill was totally inconsistent with what our winter usage was in the last apartment we lived in. My husband called BC Hydro again on January 24th and gave them the meter reading he got off of the 2nd meter with our apartment number on it. He was told by the BC Hydro representative that he would receive another month to pay until an investigation had been done.
In March, we looked at our BC Hydro account online and noticed the bill was even more exorbitant. I then phoned BC Hydro again on 3/14. I was told by the BC Hydro representative to do a circuit breaker test and was told we would receive instructions in the mail on how to do this. We never received the instructions, but we did arrange it with our apartment manager to have them help us confirm which meter is ours.
We found out that the 1st meter with our apartment number on it was the one BC Hydro had been reading and it is the meter connected to our apartment. The maintenance manager for the building told me that all of the Smart Meters were installed in the building at the same time (and they were all located in the same spot) and that they all had meter readings of between 3000 and 5000 kilowatts on them. Our meter had a reading of over 7000 kilowatts a big difference between the other meters in the building and ours. The same day (04/03/13, today) I phoned BC Hydro.
The BC Hydro representative I spoke to told me there was nothing wrong with the readings and that they are accurate. She told me that if BC Hydro had to take the Smart Meter out to have it checked and it is determined to be reading correctly, we would be charged for the service to have it checked. I told her everything I mentioned above and she told me there was nothing BC Hydro could do. Feeling very frustrated at that point, I then asked to speak to her supervisor, Danielle. Danielle also told me there was nothing wrong with the Smart Meter and told me to a circuit test for each room of the house to determine which appliance was drawing all of the power. She said the problem was most likely the heaters in the apartment that ran all of the time, even if they were turned off. She stated she would then mail us instructions on how to do a circuit reading.
I asked her to please give me the electricity usage for the unit we lived in for the last 24 months. She insisted she could not do this as it would violate privacy laws! At that point I was so upset I hung up on her. I then called the apartment manager’s office and spoke to Rhea. I told her the problems we were having with BC Hydro. She stated that most people in the apartment complex get billed around $80 for every two months for their electricity in the winter. She stated there were other people in the building that were having problems with BC Hydro. I told Rhea that Danielle of BC Hydro told me the baseboard heaters in the apartment were drawing too much power even when turned off. Rhea stated that was not try and that the heaters worked as designed to. Rhea stated that we could write a letter to the apartment corporate office asking the to move us to a different apartment or to let us out of our lease, or any other thing they could do to assist us.
We really do not want to move from this apartment as we like living here. We are at a loss of what to do now. Please help us if you can. We do not have the $500 or so we allegedly owe to BC Hydro and we don’t know if they are planning on turning off our power. We certainly cannot pay over $300 a month in electricity for this small apartment in the winter months.
Last April 2012 we moved to BC and shortly after moving in BC Hydro installed a Smart meter on our house. The owners had lived here for a few years and told us the bills were consistently around $150 a month. We have not been in our house from November 2012 and we just returned April 6, 2013.
Our bills have doubled since moving in. We were not here taking showers, washing laundry, cooking or living here in any sense. BC hydro refuses to send anyone over to check our meter. Is there anything that we could do to remedy this situation? We have no problem paying for what we use but there is no way consumption should have gone up this much.
Our analog meter was changed for an Itron, without the Electromagnetic Radiation feature in July 2011. There’s no knob on the front of the meter.
That was because I wrote them about my neurological problem – feet drop.
My hydro bills are shocking. The first 100% increase was $430.00 but I think that was last year. The second 100% increase on Feb.13, 2013 was $574.17.
This month, April 16, 2013, is $453.72. This is an “estimated” bill so my husband will check out the numbers on the meter. Our hydro bills used to average between $240.00 – $270.00 max. There’s been no change in our heating system or appliances.
We’re being robbed.
My rental house ended up having a smart meter connected last fall…Not impressed….ever since then the meter has been billing almost 4x the amount and they finally replaced the meter. They are going to test it. Welll we all know that a 900 square foot bungalow doesn’t use 600 a month in power….Equal payment plan was 99 a month
They said we could be at the test if we wanted to. What steps should we be taking??
I did not receive no warning and they came and changed the meter from my wall while i was away. I first find out when i came home and saw my bill, I then checked the meter and saw it was a new one.
I had been gone for the whole period and more, all the electricity was turned off and my bill was the highest ever. I have talked with them and i have never meet more arrogant and unpleasant response from a provider.
My issue with my smart meter is my huge high billing. Last year at this time my consumption was 29kwh this year it’s 70kwh. Last year I was full time mom and this year i am full time at work with both kids in daycare. My consumption should have gone down or stayed consistent.
I don’t know if it has anything to do with my smart meter but was told to mention if I had any new health concerns and I do. Since this summer (after I got the meter) I have had tinnitus, I have been treated with acupuncture for it and have to sleep with a white noise machine so it doesn’t wake me up at night.
My 5 year old has also developed eczema and he’s never had it before. We can’t get rid of it despite talking to his doctor and working with a naturopath (like i said I don’t know if it would even be related) .
Anyway my bill is now $450 for 2 months and I don’t know how I can pay that. BC hydro says we must have faulty wiring or breakers and we need an electrician. Did they use an electrician when they installed my meter?
Is there anything I can do? I can’t afford my hydro bill and I can’t afford an electrician, especially when I know that the meter is the issue
I am another analog meter owner that just received the largest bill ever! I called about it and was told that it takes more energy to heat a home that was empty for 23 days of the 63 days ( no body heat, oven on etc….!!!).
I was not impressed and called again and this time I was told that my energy consumption was about the same as other years at that time but now it was just $200.00 plus more. Why? Ask the BC utilities. I asked if it was because I had an analog and she said she couldn’t comment. I tried to hold my tongue but added that they had strange science (blaming it on breakers and my consumption) and said that I hope another gov.t will take a stand on this horrible mess!
Do you think a letter venting this could be held against a person with an analog as they may just install a S meter when I am not home (my poor old dog is so stressed if anyone comes in the yard now as he feels it is his job to get them out).
I have been following your newsletters with interest.
A couple of months ago I told you of my experience with my registered letter to Hydro being ignored, and with installers putting in the smeter in spite of my Do Not Install sign.
My monthly rate has increased, but what is more distressing is that at my equalization date last fall I was told I owed about $800 over and above what I had already paid in the past 12 months. In January my bill informed me that my equal payment plan was to increase from $293 per month to about $350 per month. We have cut back on our hydro usage, even to the point of being cold in the house because we refuse to turn up the heat. (We live in northern B.C.). We have now started to turn the power off one evening each week just to hopefully save a few dollars.
My question is: If these smeters can send information out to some main collecting computer, is it possible that someone at the other end can control how fast our meters crank up the kilowatts? Everything so far has been done in such an underhanded manner that I don’t trust anything about Hydro.
Is this something that has been looked into?
by T. Shore – Parksville Qualicum News – March 05, 2013
Haven’t seen a letter for a while about this particular topic, so I guess it’s getting old or stale perhaps.
However, after opening my hydro bill online today, I actually cried.
Like a lot of the citizens of Parksville, I am an older woman, living alone in her home.
The smart meter that was installed on the house was, upon my insistence, taken away and tested — it came back as working just fine.
This house is a bit of a challenge or mystery, guess you could say, for BC Hydro. The reason for that is that there is a rental suite in the house. Sometimes it is rented out, other times it is not.
So, when BC Hydro looks back at the previous billing and usage, if there was a family living here, obviously, the usage was higher.
So, when they do their guesstimate billing it is way off the mark, if I am living here alone.
For some unknown reason, the people at BC Hydro can’t seem to comprehend this situation.
My lifestyle is very simple, I am usually in bed by nine or 10 p.m. I only keep heat on in the room that I am occupying at any time. I don’t heat my bedroom.
As far as appliances, my clothing is hung on a rack to dry, in the house in the winter, and outside in the summer. When I tell BC Hydro this, they insist that “something” is causing high usage.
What on earth could that something be?
I am trying, once again, to rent out the suite. However, with the cost of the heating am wondering if it is worth it.
It seems that nearly everyone that has rental suites is now including heat in the rent.
So, would I actually make any money if it is rented out again? That is the question.
The bill I just received, for two months, is nearly $1,000. I am at a loss as to how I can pay that amount.
T. Shore, Parksville
My mother who is 88 yrs. old and living in a senior’s subsidized housing complex, She received a Hydro bill for February in the amount of $125.00. That’s double what she paid last year in January and February is a month with less days. Her apartment is barely 600 sq feet.
Also this February was a much warmer month than last year. My mom has a modest income, which is supplemented and cannot possibly afford this ridiculous sum. All because of these smart meters.
I just wanted to report this.
We live in a condo complex where the Smart meters have been installed months ago, but started being used remotely only a couple of months ago. Maybe this is how we can explain a sudden jump in “consumed electricity”.
This winter has been very mild and we hardly ever turned the heating on. We have mostly relied on the gas fireplace. Quite the contrary last year. So it makes no sense at all that we spent more than twice the electricity.
Last month’s bill was $211! Look at the small graphic on the left side of the photographed bill showing consumption per month. In May, the “used” electricity was more than 10 times the normal!
Are we at their mercy or is there anything we can actually do to get our analog meters back? We don’t even have an access into the electrical room.
Thanks for any suggestion you may have
After 12 days, 4 calls to smart meter department, 4 calls to customer service,….(each may involve 3 different wait times each) I finally get a call back from one of the requests for call back. Problem is I was not home and of course they never call the second number, which I explicitly tell them to do if I cannot be reached by the first number. I start the process over, and over.. and over ….again.
I then do not get a call but an email. This is all before my asking for a request for information on my account form to be sent. When the guy assured me up and down to wait for the form and information, he would send it immediately. He did not. Nor the next day, or the next and so on. I called to track him down to ask why the run around when he absolutely assured me he would get the form and other information back and requested a call back from that person. No answer again.
However, a supervisor (who said she would call me but sent an email instead, sent me a email not answering any of my questions as my situation requires more than a generic letter. Unbelievable and unacceptable. Just a stall tactics as I am desperately trying to get the notations on my account (Hydro tells me they will not give me anything in writing that the “will not install” and I want this in writing of all our discussions of them telling me they would “NOT” install the second meter (my rental which I have apparently no right to speak for because the account is in another’s name so I cannot stop the installation, problem is it is me who is being radiated by two meters, if they install) by ripping down my sign and installing it when I went for groceries (then gave pathetic weak excuses that there was a, “lack of communication”, with 4 notations on account stating “do not install”.
I finally get a senior supervisor call. Very interesting. He told me that at absolutely no time will Hydro be able to tell which appliances are on and when they are on and do and will never have that information. It is a daily use reading so you much think about what you did the previous day and guess what appliance was drawing too much power and adjust accordingly. I told him that I have been told minimum 4 times the exact opposite by his representatives. He said it was not true. I said how can I believe anything when 4 people tell me one thing and he is telling me another?? He sluffed it off and said, “sorry” and very quickly changed the subject.
He also told me that Hydro allots a certain amount of power to each city, community and is a a guess at how much power will be needed for that community/city for the following year. He said if it is not used, it is wasted power and smart meters will prevent this. I told him that if there is that much wastage just on this alone, that hydro is not doing their job let alone efficiently. Is this not basic math and projection of growth and how could that be so out of whack as decades of records would have a somewhat reasonable accuracy of growth.
As I had to ask my tenants to contact Hydro and give me permission to say what goes on in my home, in my rental, and on my property (Both meters are/will be on MY home and it will be me who is radiated double time here), she phones me exasperated a she has tried and tried but it says it is impossible to get through. She left a message for call back and also a message giving me, the owner, the right to be on that account). I call them. They did not get it. She did it again. They did not get it again (Hydro says they would accept a telephone message). I ask her to send an email. They got it. Problem is when I called to ask if they got the call, they said, they could not give me that information (privacy laws) as to whether they have received the letter to have me have a say what goes no on my property, they said privacy laws could not let them release that information to me. Absolutely ridiculous.
This is all a stall tactic as they know I am very against having the second (and first), meter installed on my property. The first representative accidentally said yes, a phone call was received, got flustered, and transferred me to another who was stronger and told me there was no call. I asked them which is it, I was again told that they could not tell me(the first guy slipped) whether they received my request. UTTERLY REDICULOUS!!!!! They are working very hard for me to NOT give me the information and paperwork so I can even put in an opposal to the install on my rental. How’s that for democracy. What a joke Hydro is.
Protestor keeps ferry docked in Chemainus
Monday, March 4, 2013 – 1:40 PM
By Liz Craig
If you are trying to get between Chemainus and Penelakut Island or Thetis Island be prepared for delays.
According to BC Ferries the boat the MV Kuper is unable to offload traffic in Chemainus due to a security incident.
George Gates is stuck on the ferry, he called SunFM to say the reason for the delay is a protestor who has chained herself to the gate.
“She is protesting something about her hydro bill and is requesting to speak to the chief of the Penelakut and he’s not available so she is not unlocking herself.”
Gates said police have arrived on the scene, but the woman is not budging, and passengers are unable to get on or off the ferry.
The ferry has been stuck at the terminal for over an hour.
by Wayne Moore – Story: 88122
Mar 1, 2013 / 2:24 pm
Hundreds of people around the Okanagan are hot under the collar after seeing their latest electrical bill.
Many contacted Castanet News Thursday afternoon voicing their dissatisfaction and frustration over energy bills that are, in some instances, nearly twice what they were a year ago.
Many residential bills increased this year after the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) which oversees energy providers such as BC Hydro and FortisBC, asked providers to design a ‘Conservation Rate.’
Neal Proban, Corporate Communications Advisor with FortisBC says the result was a two tier billing system.
“Tier one is up to 1,600 kilowatt hours every two months and tier two takes over after 1,600 kilowatt hours,” says Proban.
“The reason behind that is because they (BCUC) wanted to find a way for residential customers to get an incentive if they saved electricity. By charging customers a lower rate they can actually save money.”
Meters from the rich house to the poor house
The problem? People using more energy than 1600 kw/h per month, are paying more – a lot more. Not one person reported to Castanet that they were saving money even though they have gone to extremes to cut power consumption.
“Customers in tier one or, block one as we call it, the first 1,600 kw/h get charged 8.8038 cents and in block two it goes to 12.952 cents.”
Mike Hlushko is one who is feeling the affects despite installing what he thought would be an energy saving, environmentally friendly Geo-Thermal system in the house he had built in 2005.
Hlushko says his electrical bill went from the $700 range a year ago to his latest bill $924.68.
“We thought we were doing the right thing and we’re conscious about what we use,” says Hlushklo.
“But, if you look at these bills from the last few years, its definitely put a dent in the extra money we’re going to have every month if they keep using this system.”
Hlushko says he’s stuck because the Geo-Thermal system runs on electricity, he doesn’t use natural gas.
“There’s no other way we can save money in our home. We do turn lights off, we’re very energy conscious.”
Ironically, Hlushko says his Geo -Thermal system was down for two months last winter. His energy bill then was about $800 because they were on a back-up heat system.
“We used less power this year than last and, if you look at the numbers it was less money, but way more power usage exactly a year ago.”
Proban says the rate structure is all about conservation.
“Our average customer uses between 2,100 and 2,500 kWh so their bill will stay about the same or drop a little bit. Anybody who is able to use under 1,600 is rewarded with the better rate. If they go above they will be charged more,” says Proban.
Unfortunately, the utility company is not able to determine a profile of just what the average user looks like.
He adds that customers will probably notice an increase in the winter since that’s when we tend to use more power, but a decrease in the summertime when consumption tends to dip below the 1,600 kwh threshold.
Despite the rationale dozens of people who emailed Castanet were not pleased with the bottom line.
I have all of my yearly totals of energy bills since 2003. We now pay $1300 more per year (accumulative during the past many years) that works out to just over $100/month, and we have cut our winter usage by aprrox. 2000kwh per billing cycle (approx.62 days) accumulative with upgrades and energy saving measures during the past many years. This really does not make sense….wages have not increased very much at all in the Okanagan since 2003 from what I have experienced, but the cost of living has been increasing steadily and it is getting a little hard to budget for basic needs such as heating your home. – Rachel
I brought this to the attention of my Facebook friends a month ago and was shocked at how everyone’s reaction was the same. I live in a townhouse and am not home all day and my bill went from $175 to $400 in January then from $175 to $375 the next month…UNREAL! Everyone that commented on Facebook went as high as an increase to $1000 more a month…I even have a friend who was in Italy the whole month (not at home) and hers doubled the month she was away. Because quite frankly Fortis BC can be scamming us all with their new “Save Energy” outlook….? Post it on Facebook…you will get a few replies as well… Angel
I am writing this letter to complain and ask for an explanation about my Hydro bill. As you can see from the attached bill’s my Hydro bill has RISEN by 50% over the same period last year. Now bearing in mind that my wife and I live in a home that is 541 sq. feet and we have done exactly the same this year as we did last year. Using the same Oil filled Heaters at the same settings. Yes you can say that the cost of electricity has risen 50% thanks to the BCUC, but considering the winter was no where near as cold as it was last winter FortisBC say that I used an average of 30% more electricity than last year. We do not even use electricity for cooking as we use propane so there is no wastage there. Our electric fireplace was hardly used as it was not required. When my wife does laundry she will only use cold water and we have NO dryer. This is beyond belief. Les
My electrical bill has doubled since they put in the smart meter, where as they said it would not make a difference. What a rip off. Archie
This is a major political issue as far as I’m concerned. Like so many others when I got my latest bill I nearly fell off my chair. Why on earth the government allowed the Utilities Commission to pass such a crooked rate structure needs to be answered. Note to that at least with Fortis (and perhaps also BC Hydro) the Tier 2 rates have increased *faster* than the Tier 1 rates. This means the new system gets progressively more unfair as time passes. Incredible. Nicholas
Single person living in a townhouse that is under 1000 feet. Work 2 jobs, never home, turns all lights off when away. Doesn’t use the dishwasher. Does laundry once a week, Heat is set between 15-20 degrees all winter. It is electric heat. Last Hydro bill 304.38 !! Ludicrous for a single person using minimum heat water and lighting. L.
I have seen my bill go from $38-46 every two months to over $260 for 38 days. I only have two rooms plus a bathroom and have EVERYTHING that is not being used unplugged all the time now. My neighbour has a larger home and his monthly hydro bill was over $900. A small increase I can understand but these seem to be an extraordinary amounts. Fly600girl
My highest bill in the last 8 years has been $670.00 a couple of years ago when we had a cold winter. My last bill was $875.00 for 2 months. It has not even been a cold winter and I have been much more conscious the last couple of years when it comes to lights and hot water and power. We are absolutely being ripped off by Fortis. This is one of the biggest scams I have come across in years. Wayne
My home is a 2200 square foot home and I am trying to be very conservative with my elecrtiticy and my bill has gone up over 200 dollars from last year same time and my actual consumpiton on furance is down 40%. I had an independent come in to do an energy smart tesl and I am above the average on efficiency. Krista
I have a huge problem with this two tiered system. My personal residence Electric bill has increased appx $200 to $300 a billing period. Summer months are worse with AC running, on average I have a $350 increase over two months. Not very happy about it at all. My Bill used to be $300 to $350 and now it has gotten up as high as $650 one billing period. The largest problem is we have a rental on Big White. There is no gas furnaces on Big White so with Electric base board heaters the bill has increased from $550 every two months to as high as $1,134. This one was the largest shock. Kyle
Wow. Just Wow. Bill this month… $487! Last year – $285 – that is a 70% increase!!! Cory
Upon receiving our Fortis electrical bill of $375.53. We were astounded to see that we were paying $180.32 more than the last bill. That is almost double. We are not using our furnace this year and are being careful in our consumption. There is no explanation about the huge raise except to say the rate has changed. The average current kWh/day is 49 compared to past year of 54 Kwh/day. Herb
My bill was $600 for 2 months. My heat is never above 21 degrees and lights are always switched off. Disgusted. Apparently downstairs was close to $1000. I have never paid more than $150 for 2 months and i live exactly the same way. Of course when i phoned to complain they were less than helpful and basically told tough and to pay. It’s terrible to see this happening to everyone. Dave
Normally for the winter months our bill is about $220 for 2 months, this last bill was $320! All because of this new two-tiered system. Sarah
We are really angry – we were away a total of 5 weeks during the last billing period so there was no laundry, no baking, no lights – nothing going on – and we set the thermostat at 65 degrees. We had an 8% reduction of kwh usage and a 14 % increase in the bill for the same period as last year! Joyce
A smart meter was placed on our house (we rent) in October of 2012. Our first hydro bill with the smart meter was $450.00- a lot higher than normal for that time of year. We just received our second bill since having the smart meter and it is $712.00!!! (This is from billing cycle Dec8-Feb8). This is completely outrageous! We are fairly conservative with our energy consumption- and Mon-friday the house is completely empty and dark from 8:30am-3:00pm.
What are our rights? Are we allowed to demand an analog meter be put back on our house? We moved to this house in July 2012. It is roughly 1700 sq ft. Our previous house was 3300 sq ft and our hydro there was not even close to this in the winter!
Any help or information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Our Hydro bill has been between $750 – $850 in 2008 through 2011.
Early in 2012 BC Hydro installed a Smart Meter. Our bill for 2012 went up to $1380.00. and nothing has changed in our Condo except the Smart Meter!!!
Hydro says it is our problem and nothing to do with the Smart Meter!!
I’m in an awful situation and I was wondering if you had any thoughts about
possible venues of action?
At the beginning of February, Corix came to my house again to try and install a
meter. We told them to leave.
The power bill came today, and it’s $400 higher than it’s supposed to be. We use
almost no power, we have no TV, no microwave, my boyfriend and I each have a
laptop and we use energy saving 25-watt bulbs. That’s it. And with the nice
weather, the heat has been down this month.
Apparently, BC Hydro has switched some people who refused the meter over to “peak rates” for 24 hours/day, claiming that when there is no smart meter, they can’t determine peak usage. Therefore, no smart meter = pay for peak usage all the time.
Or, suddenly, an extra $400 tacked on to the bill.
I’ll have to move. I don’t know what to do.
My landlord is calling them, hopefully they’ll fix it and say, “Oh, it was a mistake”
(Rogers notoriously adds bunk charges to bills and happily removes them if only
Other than that, I don’t know what to do. It’s extortion. It’s illegal.
Do you know anyone who would represent these cases pro-bono? Or have any
other great ideas?
We also noticed that our Hydro bills have increased drastically since we refused the installation of the smart meters. About 10 days ago, I called BCHydro to ask why our bills were so high. Their answer was that there might be something wrong with the analog meter.
Does anyone know how we could request an inquiry on BCHydro practices as to why our bills have gone up, about 50% and sometimes even higher, since we started refusing the smart meters?
I’m really hoping that you can help me. Hydro is robbing me blind. I guess I will start at the beginning…..
My Uncle passed away on November 3 this last year and I am the executrix of his estate and have been taking care of the bills as well as his house until probate allows me to use his funds to pay his debts. So until then I have been paying for the hydro to his home in Victoria. My husband and I have removed almost everything from the house in preparation to renovate for our family to move in. There is nothing in the house that would use a lot of power, there is no stove, and the washer and dryer have sat dormant….no one to turn on a tv, a light or even a laptop….nothing left in the house to draw power. There is however baseboard heaters as the main heat, and they have been turned down to as low as possible to keep anything from freezing. So in essence the house should be using next to no power what so ever. Prior to his passing away, my Uncle had care aides that lived with him and did his laundry and cooking daily, used a computer, watched TV and had most of the lights on and there was a power lift used to transport my Uncle around the house, as well as an elevator that was used several times a day. There was enough power used daily to justify a large amount of hydro usage.
I received in the mail yesterday, his latest Hydro bill and it states that compared to this time last year his hydro usage was the same…..well actually only 1 KWH difference. On an empty house……with no one living in it, no appliances….no lift systems, or cooking as there was this time last year. No one has been in the house to use any power since very early in November. I called hydro to see if they did an estimate or an actual reading and were just going by his usage this time last year and to my surprise the agent told me that no, this was an actual reading. I tried to explain to her that there must be some mistake and that it just couldn’t be right. She argued with me that the meter reading is correct and that the baseboard heaters used that full amount. To my great frustration I found that I was arguing with a brick wall. I tried to reason with her the fact that this time last year the baseboard heaters were working harder than they are now and in addition there were many, many more appliances and items in the home that would justify that kind of usage and at the present time there are none. She would not accept my argument that there would be a greater difference in usage than shown on this bill. She kept trying to double talk me and blame it all on the baseboard heaters.
I requested that they go and do a physical reading and I was told that they would not, and do not do that any more. I asked how I can prove that there is a problem with the reading and she then instructed me to go to the house, turn all the breakers off and see if there is still usage on the meter, and if there is then there is a wiring issue with the house…….and that I should pay for an electrician to see why. I explained to her the house was built in 1967 and the wiring has remained the same since then and the only change to the house was the addition of the smart meter. She then told me the process involved in getting the meter tested and that it could take up to 3 months and cost me $92. over and above the amount that they are stealing from me on the over billing.
To make matters even worse with this situation, when I told her that my Uncle passed away I was told that in order to keep hydro going to the house I had to put the billing from this date forward into my name…….not ‘To the estate of’ like every other service, nope I had to take the responsibility of all future billing. So I at that time had to put the hydro in my name and now it is solely my responsibility and not that of the estate. In response to my request as to why it had to be this way and not billed to the estate of…she told me that “ It is their policy and that they cannot bill a dead person.” Very cold and uncaring. I feel almost violated and frustrated after my dealings with this monopoly. I have no choice, I have to pay this bill because they said so. And their reasoning that the usage is accurate and that the baseboard heater is using the full amount of hydro that was used the same period last year. And to add insult to injury now I have the sole responsibility of the hydro billing now in my name, and I am solely responsible for the debts, not the estate.
I am hoping that you will be able to give me some idea of what my rights are, and how I can possibly dispute these insane charges that are so far out of line. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
My hydro bill is also double what it logically should be. These smart meters are wireless technology, which opens up more possibilities. You can change the channels on your TV from across the room. Could Hydro not also change the numbers on their meters the same way? This would explain most of these exorbitant hydro bills. This is just a thought, not an accusation. But if the shoe fits……….
Still in conversation with BC Hydro (if you can call it that) but getting nowhere, with the new Smart Meter my bill has tripled.
No one seems to care that nothing has changed in my house for over ten years!!!
Where do I turn to for answers.
Thanks & Have a Great Day
We also noticed that our Hydro bills have increased drastically since we refused the installation of the smart meters. About 10 days ago, I called BCHydro to ask why our bills were so high. Their answer was that there might be something wrong with the analog meter.
Does anyone know how we could request an inquiry on BCHydro practices as to why our bills have gone up, about 50% and sometimes even higher, since we started refusing the smart meters
I live in strata where there is a bank of meters not far from my unit. I hate that they are there. More importantly (maybe), is that my bill increased from $150. to $379. in one month (I was away with heat turned down for several days during that period) When I phoned to complain I just got the usual runaround,- rhetoric that explained nothing – no real answers. I hung up, angry.
I built my house in 2002-2203 and put in state of the are eco friendly geothermal heating and cooling system. Which draws heat from the ground. I live in the house and am the only owner.
My hydro consumption has been the same for the last 8 years. The installed the new smart meter summer of 2012 and my bill for October to January 2012 my consumption has doubled.
I could not believe my bill for these months was over 3000.00. I have made a call to hydro they said have your electrician check your house. He did and found nothing wrong. I don’t know what to do and nothing has changed since I built the house so don’t know what happened.
Wondering if the smart meter is faulty or what.
This billing cycle, once again we have received a huge Hydro Bill totaling $1,070 for a 60 day period. This year was much milder than last year and last year we were building our home and drywall heaters were heating the house to dry the drywall etc.
We also had the heating system hooked on to a temporary electric heater trying to dry the drywall. Occasionally trades people left windows open and there were 6 X 220V high-energy heaters hooked up in the house. This year we are living in our new home and the bill for the same period (as last year) is more than what we received last year. There was a lot more heating consumption last year because of the drywall heaters and colder weather.
We are also using Geo-Thermo heating now with the electric back up system turned off at the electric panel breaker. We are not at home in the day and at night after 9pm – 7am even our Geo Thermo heat is turned off.
We have avoided using our hydro range during the last 2 months and have been cooking on the gas range.
We have noticed that our Hydro costs are higher, yet we consuming less energy than what we are accused of consuming.
We did not want the smart meter installed in the first place and today i saw on Check 6 news that people will not be forced to install one going forward.
Can we get our smart meter removed?
In addition I have also complained the BC Hydro that the day that the smart meter was installed was the day that my wireless internet speed was reduced from approximately 80mbs to around 18mbs. That is quite a considerable reduction in wireless speed. BC Hydro officials tried to convince me that it was something else that had changed, which has not. They also tried to tell me that I must be using something like a “hot tub”, which I am not.
Just thought I would keep you in the loop and that my complaints to BC Hydro are documented in case needed in the future
i have been in a battle with bc hydro for 11 months now over some extreme billing issues. These issues occurred after my smart meter install Feb 23rd 2012. i feel as though i am being bullied out of, what to a single income family with child is alot of money. They keep leaving threats to shut off my hydro. They are trying to back date bill me triple the amount of hydro my house is able to consume as it is 90 years old and only has a 60 amp panel.
i was always in great standings with hydro until a bill for almost $1600.00 came in the mail. After 330+days in my home this smart meter has a daily average of 33kwh/day. this is approx the amount i have always paid in this home.
The time in question is an 8 month span in 2011 in which they are stated my 90 year old home consumed 78kwh/day on top of all amounts previously paid.
BC hydro refuses to send me proper bills of any sort that show how they come to this conclusion. the amount of hydro they are stating that i am using is the equivalent 78, 100watt light bulbs running for 10hr per day on top of the 33kwh/day they have been paid for.
All bills from 2012 are at 30-33kwh/d. bc hydro also refuses to separate my bill so i can pay for the amount in which i know i owe as per there smart meter. (33kwh/d) i apologize for rambling but feel as though i am running out of options in this matter.
We are a young family with a single income and an 11month old child. all i am looking for is to be pointed in the correct direction. After many hours reading multiple news articles from throughout the province i know that i am not alone with this issue.
We have talked to a BC Hydro customer rep about the dramatic apparent increases in our hydro KwH from equivalent billing periods 1 year ago. We got no help, only assurances that the meters are right and we can pay to have ours tested.
Hello & just a quick note…
We have the old meter..
The other day we received a larger than normal bill in the mail, more than 300 dollars higher. We read the meter numbers on the bill & compared it to the outside meter & they didn’t match. We call hydro & they said sorry and we’ll send you another bill? New price was 170$ from 520$
My wife calls to ask where this other bill is & they say its on the way.
Also this person say you owe us 35$ from 7-8years ago?
They said it was transferred to our account …etc…..
Increased Hydro Billing – BC – January 2013
We have lived in this house for 12 years. Since the Smart (sic) meter was installed on July 31 our electric consumption has become very erratic and increased dramatically. Our last bill is more than double last winter’s average monthly bill.
Talking at hydro I am told that based on todays reading next month will be even worse. The most galling thing is that I have to pay them to test the accuracy of their meter and they are unwilling to reimburse me for the time I have to spend filling out the paper work to have the meter tested. If I’m wrong I pay; If they’re wrong they don’t pay.
Increased Billing – BC – December 2012
I have had a smart meter installed in a new large house in Victoria. The smart meter was installed during the last 2 weeks of a billing period and the weather has stayed constant and quite mild for this part of the year. (Installed just over a month ago)
The analogue meter showed usage that amounted to approximately $400 for the first 6 weeks of the billing period (September 23rd 2012 – November 9th 2012) and then the smart meter was installed (November 9th) and from November 9th to November 24th, I have used $396 worth of electricity. So after the smart meter was installed and although the weather stayed constant I have used the same amount of electricity in 2 weeks as I had done in the 6 weeks prior the smart meter install.
We were also away for a week after the smart meter was installed with everything shut off other than the basics like the fridge. I also have to mention that our heat source is Geo Thermo heat.
We have had the same problem as others have in dealing with BC Hydro and basically that is we have to pay for the meter to be tested and that I must be using more electric, etc, etc. I am not using any more electric and in fact have turned off many items like bedside alarm clocks/radios etc.
Further I keep an eye on my consumption by checking the meter and my estimate as of today (roughly 1 month of consumption since my last bill) is approximately $600.00
I am frustrated and it seems there is nothing that consumers can do about it.
My hydro bills have increased dramatically since smart meter was installed. What can i do about this? My consumption for
Apr-may 2011/810kwh .Apr- may2012/3164 kwh 390% inc.
June-JUly 2011/899kwh June-July2012/2635kwh 293% inc.
Aug-Sept2011/810kwh Aug/sept2012/3135kwh. 387% inc.
Increased Billing – BC – Sept 2012
My hydro bills last July $77.15 this July $276.12. Can’t find last years bill for September just got September 2012 bill $330.98 Something’s not right.
Increased Billing – BC – August 2012
I have recently moved into a new apartment, which has smart metering. Since moving here, I have had bills in excess of $200. I have talked to others in the building and their bills are nowhere near this. I have called BC Hydro repeatedly in an effort to get them to help me.
They have come to check the meter, but have done nothing to improve the situation. I have now been told that I must pay a fee of $92 to have them come and look at the meter. I’m not sure what this charge is for. Is it for a new meter? An engineer with Hydro told me not to bother doing this, as it is ;never the meter. I’m at my wit’s end, frustrated and need some help with this problem. Can you provide some advice? Thanks for any help you can give.
Increased Hydro – BC – August 2012
No change in consumption. Just two people in house Average of $70.00 per month or $140.00 this cycle Just got bill for over $300.00! I am on disability, and it is just my husband working. Not only is money terribly tight and we are in major debt, but a surprise like this means that I can’t eat well and I have to cancel doctors appointments because I won’t be able to afford gas in my car. I have no more credit available, and I am afraid that another bill like this might make us start missing mortgage payments etc.
Increased Hydro – BC – August 2012
Since “Smart Meters” were installed in my Vancouver apartment complex just a little over 4 months ago my hydro bills have nearly doubled. I live in a tiny little two-bedroom apartment with a roommate. We went from paying $40/month to $75 per month. (I’m accustomed to receiving an $80 bill or less for every two month cycle and instead wound up with a $150 hydro bill).
There has been no change in consumption habits in this time that could possibly account for such a drastic increase except for the installation of the so-called ‘smart meter’. After installation we actually REDUCED the number of small electronics in the home and had begun replacing the remaining incandescent bulbs. The apartment has no washer/dryer, no garburator, no air conditioning, electric baseboard heat (turned completely off since May) and only a fridge/stove and dishwasher. The dishwasher is only used two or three times a month! Collectively there are only 7 light fixtures, no TV, no game consoles or stereos etc. Just 2 laptops and two students who are energy conscious! Incidentally the day after the meter was installed several lights began flickering and one fairly new LED lamp completely burned out.
Several other tenants of the same apartment building have voiced similar issues with hydro bills doubling in cost. When I called customer care to inquire why my bill was so high, they actually asked me if I had installed a hot tub or Jacuzzi… Seriously? My apartment is 600 square feet. (I’m thinking yeah, right… its sitting right next to the grand piano). I responded that I couldn’t fit one in this apartment unless I slept on it. They insist my consumption has risen and that the problem couldn’t possibly be their meter.
We’re not even home half the time. Bottom line, there is something wrong with the not-so-smart meters and BC hydro is refusing to do anything about it. Frustrated, broke student
Increased Hydro – Parksville – June 2012
I do not yet have a smart meter, but that may be better than dealing with current BC Hydro representatives. I returned from five months away to an April BC Hydro bill for my shop for over $1,000. As the shop had been shut down and all breakers off except minimal heat, this was exorbitant. The February reading had resulted in a bill of just over $100; a realistic amount. Upon reading the meter, the fault was obviously a meter reading error, easy to correct. Or so I thought. Just try to contact BC Hydro. There is no way to contact a person on any of their listed phone numbers, and their e-mails do onto even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement of receipt, never mind a reply.
To contact BC Hydro, we the consumers, have to contact our MLA and have him contact the company on our behalf. This I find to be an interesting and curious use of our political representative. Finally contacted by a BC Hydro representative, I was informed that the usage was correct, and that I was misreading the meter. The lady also went through the usual list of why the usage was realistic and dismissed all contrary information given her. She was not interested in solving the problem, only interested in BC Hydro being right.
Our system is terribly out of control when our government-owned Crown corporation hides from its customers and will only respond to political pressure on everyday matters. This is further complicated when the company disseminates incorrect information. I shudder to think of what will transpire when our refusals of the smart meters is ignored.
Increase Hydro – BC – July 2012
I am frustrated with the new smart meters Starting November of 2011 I eliminated the use of my clothes dryer and started hanging all of my laundry to dry. We do a lot of laundry every month. I also unplug chargers, turn off computers and didn’t turn the heat on until the middle of December. In spite of these changes my bills for each month says that my usage is virtually the same if not more from last years bills. It doesn’t make sense. I phoned hydro and there response was that I must be using more power somewhere else. I know that isn’t the case. Basically they were no help. With the cost of living going up immensely I figured I would be proactive to work to decrease my hydro consumption. There seems to be no recourse. I don’t believe that the bills are correct and there seems to be nothing that can be done about it. Is there anything that can be done that I don’t know about?
Increased Hydro – Langley – July 2012
Hi There, I moved to brand new house on May 01. I received first BC Hydro bill on May 16. First 2 weeks shows a few hundred of kilowatts of energy use. After that I started collecting smart meter readings. It shows the usage of about 25 kilowatts in period of 10 night hours when I sleep. This is simply not possible. I complained to BC Hydro on May 28 – they said smart meters work perfectly – such ignorance I complained to BC Utilities Commission on May 29 – they refused to take any action I am reporting this to you for possible help. I talked to my neighbors. They have similar problems. Please inform me of any actions you are planning, legal actions, demonstrations, petitions or whatever to fight that crap. I will participate.
Increased Hydro – BC – July 2012
We do not want a smart meter in our home. Our KWh/day increased between 300 to +400 %
Increased Hydro – BC – July 2012
Thank you for looking into this matter. I believe that there is something wrong with the Smartmeter that was installed in my building. I live in a 700 sq ft, one bedroom apartment.
I was on an equal payment plan last year of $39/month (so $468/year). BC Hydro increased my equal payment plan to $42/mo for the Dec/12 – Nov/13 period (so $504/yr).
The Smartmeter was installed last November. My December bill came and showed usage of just $31.52. My January bill showed a usage of $21.41. My February bill showed a usage of $22.73. At this point, I cancelled the equal payment plan as I was paying them $42/month, when I was clearly using only half that amount of electricity.
Well – once I’d cancelled the equal payment plan, the next bill came, and it was for $258.12!!! The bill after that was for $199.06!!! I phoned BC Hydro Customer Service, of course, and was told that the Dec., Jan. & Feb. bills had just been an “estimate”, and that they had to make adjustments on the April and May bills, and that’s why the last 2 bills were so high.
Well this just doesn’t ring true – the Smartmeters are supposed to be highly accurate & communicating with BC Hydro multiple times a day, so how is it that the billing was just an “estimate”? And can anyone explain how I could be billed, in just a few months, what I would normally pay for an entire year???? I have been billed for $583.18 for the period of Dec./11 – May/12 (6 months), when I paid only $486.06 for the 12-MONTH period prior to the Smarmeter installation! I can look up the kilowatt usage when I’ve got some time – I’ve lived in this apartment since Nov. 2009, and I believe I have all of my bills dating back to that time. Just from the bills I have in front of me, I see that the kilowatt usage “Daily Average Comparison” shows a dramatic increase in energy usage since the Smartmeter was installed, although I have not actually changed my usage habilts.
Here is a list of this:
April 2011 – 16 kWh Mar 2012 – 36 kWh (more than doubled)
May 2011 – 16 kWh May 2012 – 36 kWh (more than doubled)
July 2011 – 4 kWh July 2012 – 13 kWh (more than TRIPLED)
To give you an idea of my old usage: Dec. 2010 – 27 kWh Jan 2011 – 27 kWh Feb 2011 – 24 kWh
So basically BC Hydro is saying that I’ve been using more daily power in March and May of 2012 than I did in previous *winters*. This makes no sense…..
Increased Hydro – BC – June 2012
We don’t_ have a smart meter but our bills have skyrocketed in the past few months as well. BC Hydro’s explanation “colder than usual winter”. Our house is heated by gas and we had 4 people in our house last year, now we have 2. It doesn’t make any sense. Do you know of an independent company that would come out and test our meter for us? Please advise.
Increased Hydro – Vancouver – July 2012
“A few months ago, they flipped to smart meters in our condo and our bills have gone from usually around $160 for two months,” explains Brad Hugel. “The most recent one was $515 for the two-month period.”
What changed? “Just the smart meter. I mean we actually even got a more energy efficient washer-dryer in that time period too.”
Hugel isn’t even heating a detached home. He’s talking about a 900 square foot condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
He’s also not surprised that a hydro bill would be more in the winter. That’s one of the explanations given by BC Hydro. The rep also claimed the amount to be comparable to others in the building. “They said most of neighbours are also using about that same amount of energy.”
So he emailed several people, “When I talked to my neighbours, their bills are all under $200 at this time of year.”
Hugel asked BC Hydro to come check the meter, “They said we don’t need to because the meter seems to be working fine because it’s giving us a reading and it’s what all my neighbours are experiencing as far as their bills. Which they are not.”
Hugel moved to the province earlier last year. He knew BC was expensive but figured this was a bit much, “I’ve kind of given up. I don’t see what I can do. I’ve talked to them twice without any kind of resolution.”
Hugel is happy to pay the bill, in fact he already has, but just want to make sure it’s right.
We are still waiting for a response from BC Hydro.
If you’ve seen a huge spike in your BC Hydro bill since your smart meter was installed, let us know about it in the comments section.
Increased Hydro – Nanaimo – June 2012
Please, please, please seriously reconsider your stand on the smart meter program! There are so many people, even in my own circle of friends, who are being severely affected. The typical scenarario: Sudden and unrelenting physical symptoms since having a meter installed on a bedroom wall, doubled and tripled hydro bills for which there is no explanation, even after electrical inspection, and smoking or sparking breakers on electrical panels, even in new homes.
I have a retired friend who is now in extreme financial hardship because of having to pay three $1,000 hydro bills (which were formerly only $350.) because they’ve threatened to cut off her power. She is emotionally wrought, physically ill at the thought of having to move and Hydro is ignoring her. Worse yet, few of these people have bothered to inform their MLA or Hydro because they are so obviously not listening. Sadly, these situations are not only breaking people’s health and bank accounts, but also their spirit! Is this what you really envisioned for the people of British Columbia? I just can’t believe that! I don’t think you, or any member of your government, could foresee the folly of choosing this technology. But now that the truth about smartmeters is being revealed, there’s no shame in admitting that you were wrong and taking immediate corrective measures. In fact, most people respect the individual who can humbly and honestly do that.
Ms. Clark, please be assured that for every person who contacts you regarding this issue, there are at least 50 who aren’t bothering because they don’t think it will do any good. That’s about how the numbers add up among my associates. So I implore you, please, to search your heart for the benefit of your fellow citizens and find a way to do the right thing.
Increased Hydro Bill – Parksville BC – June 1st, 2012
Bill for over $1,000, As the shop had been shut down and all breakers off except minimal heat, this was exorbitant. The February reading had resulted in a bill of just over $100; a realistic amount. Upon reading the meter, the fault was obviously a meter reading error, easy to correct. Or so I thought.
Restaurant owner says electricity bill has doubled since B.C. Hydro installed smart meter By Matthew Burrows http://www.straight.com/archives/contributor/matthew-burrows” \t “_blank” http://www.straight.com/archives/contributor/matthew-burrows, May 16, 2012 The co-owner of a restaurant is blaming recent utility bill spikes on the installation of a smart meter at the establishment she cofounded in 1983. “It can only be one thing,” Maureen Loucks told the Straight by phone from the Mahle House Restaurant in rural Cedar, close to Nanaimo. “All other logical things have been checked out, you know, and we’re only open five days a week. Even our dishwasher is a low-temp dishwasher. We’re using gas, but electricity?
There’s no reason for that [bill] to over double.” According to Loucks, her most recent bimonthly bill was $1,084.56, and her bill for the period December 14, 2011, to February 13, 2012, was $1,192.67. But the bill before those two, for October 15 to December 13 of last year—during which time (on November 28) the smart meter was installed to replace the old analogue meter—was just $532.72.
Despite being furious at what she called “huge increases”, Loucks said she reluctantly paid the last two bills on May 9, fearing her power would be cut, adding that B.C. Hydro is “the only show in town”. “I often think, ‘If we just went to the restaurant and we doubled our prices, we’d probably go out of business because nobody would come,’ ” Loucks said. “But with B.C. Hydro…”
B.C. Hydro media spokesperson Greg Alexis directed the /Straight/ to Jim Nicholson, B.C. Hydro’s director of customer care. Nicholson did not respond to the /Straight/ about Loucks’s concerns by deadline. As well, Rich Coleman, B.C.’s energy minister, did not respond to a message by deadline. Loucks said she received a generic email response from B.C. Hydro’s customer care team on April 12, in which staff listed eight factors that could have contributed to the spike, including the winter season, additional machinery being installed, and human error. “I have had everybody check out my system,” Loucks countered. “I have had Houle Electric in to see if there was anything that they could suggest. I’ve had our heat pump checked out, to make sure that nothing was malfunctioning.
This was another thing that Hydro said: ‘Well, surely something is malfunctioning.’ Well, it’s not. That’s the whole thing. We’ve never, in the history of the Mahle House, had such huge bills.” Loucks said business does roll along despite the smart meter–induced uncertainty, but these bill spikes eat away at the restaurant’s bottom line. “I wonder if you could even find somebody whose meter reading has gone down with the smart meters,” she added. “I bet you can’t.”
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – May 18 2012
Most recent bimonthly bill was $1,084.56, and her bill for the period December 14, 2011, to February 13, 2012, was $1,192.67. But the bill before those two, for October 15 to December 13 of last year—during which time (on November 28) the smart meter was installed to replace the old analogue meter—was just $532.72. read more >>
Increased Hydro Bill – BC- April 2012
My bills have also almost doubled since last year and we have an empty suite downstairs which I use for my at home business one or two lights and heat in only one room, and the bills have since doubled in the new year 2012? Our consumption has not changed? I want to know what we are all going to do about this? So many people feel the same. HELP!
Increased Hydro Bill – Gibson – April 2012
We were away for a 4-month vacation. Our meter was changed to a new smart one in November, and now we have returned to a bill three times the average we have at this time of the year. The highest bill we have ever received. BC Hydro has ignored our complaints, blaming either the previous meter our appliances. What can we do?
Increased billing – BC – April 2012
I am writing this letter as I am unsure what other recourse I can take at this time. I have been a BC Hydro customer for only one year, as my husband and I purchased our brand new home last February, 2011. During this past year, our hydro bills have been around $120.00 for a two month billing period. Of course the amount has fluctuated slightly depending on the weather etc.
In January, we received our regular hydro bill. I was confused and shocked when I opened it, and the amount was $411.00, well over three times the average amount (even in the winter). I racked my brain to think of why the bill might be so high. Did we do any work on the house during that time, what could be different? I was a few days when I realized; the only difference with our hydro was the installation of our smart meter, which was done in December of 2011. This bill was the first since the installation.
Immediately I phoned Hydro to inform them their meter was malfunctioning. I was confused, disappointed and eventually angry that the associate I was speaking to was brushing off my concern as a normal consumption issue. She flat out told me the meter is NEVER wrong, and there must be something wrong with my house. She then went through a series of reasons why my bill was higher. We must have space heaters, it was a particularly cold winter, did we have a new baby, old chest freezer, pot lights (?). The list seemed endless.
At any rate, it did not matter that I told the associate we lived in a house less than a year old with an energy efficiency rating of 83%. It didn’t matter that I told her our appliances were all under a year old and were all energy star. It didn’t matter that we have gas heated; hot water on demand or that we both work full time days and are not even in the home 50% of the time.
It didn’t matter that we were away for two weeks during the billing period. At the end of the conversation, the associate told me in essence “something is wrong with your house and it is not our responsibility to figure out what that is.”
I decided I was going to wait for the next bill to see if this was a fluke, or if the trend would continue. I was again shocked to find my next bill, slightly lower but probably because now I am deathly afraid to turn on a light EVER, at $368.00. Still three times higher than the average.
Once again I phoned BC Hydro. This time I got another associate who, not to my surprise, started reciting off the same list of “reasons” my bill would be higher than usual.
I stopped this associate almost immediately as I was feeling both patronized and insulted and asked for a supervisor. I was passed on to a gentleman who identified himself as Royce. Royce did not give me a last name and stated he did not have an employee number. Royce then seemingly picked up where the other associate left off with the list of “reasons.” I stopped Royce at this point and plainly asked him if he were going to help me with my problem. I asked Royce how he could be sure the meters are correct and likened a meter malfunctioning to any other man -made object, installed by humans. Royce assured me the meters CANNOT be wrong because they are tested.
Wasn’t thalidomide “tested” too? After several minutes of infuriating denials, disregards and round about diversions, Royce told me he could send out an application to have someone remove the meter and have it sent to Canada Weights and Measures, but I would be responsible for the $97 fee if the meter came back within allowable limits.
I have sent in the application because I am at a loss about what to do. It’s not like I can say I am displeased with the service I am receiving from Hydro and take my business elsewhere. I was not opposed to the smart meter. I did not think there would be any issues, and I trusted if something were wrong with it, the situation would be remedied.
Over the past four months, my husband and I have paid an additional $600 to BC Hydro because of this meter. I don’t believe I will ever get that money back and as a young, hard working family (both my husband and I are government employees) we do not have an income where we can afford to throw away money.
I have spoken to many friends, family, colleagues and neighbours and am confidant BC Hydro is grossly overcharging us for our consumption. I would greatly appreciate some response other than to “suck it up and pay.” I have a valid concern, and I do not believe the responsibility should be on me to prove the validity of a machine I did not ask for in the first place.
I know I am not the only resident in this province faced with this particular challenge. Who in this province is going to take responsibility for Hydro’s complete disregard for its customers? Hard working, tax -paying citizens are being manipulated by this company who, at this time it seems is sitting back, reaping the benefits of our misfortune. Tough luck, go somewhere else.
A frustrated and angry citizen of British Columbia
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – March 2012
My bills have more than doubled since new meters, consumption going from an average of 15 kwh per day (since 1994) to over 100 kwh per day for my small (800 sq ft) house. Nothing has changed, and my electrician says nothing is wrong with my house and I am only one of many who have called him about this issue. He tells me there is nothing wrong with anybody’s house. Hydro says their meter can’t possibly be inaccurate. Who checks the accuracy of the meters?
Increase Hydro Bill- Sooke – March 2012
My bills are higher, friends I talk to their bills are higher. I am literally sitting in my house day after day, everything unplugged that I can think of that doesn’t need to be plugged in. My baseboard heaters are OFF, they still suck power when off I am told. I don’t cook at 5 pm suppertime. I cook my main meal about 2 hours earlier and reheat it in the microwave to avoid peak period charges. I do my laundry at midnight on the weekends. I sit in a cold, dark house with blankets around my shoulders. Yet I am expecting yet another high bill coming up.
The government and BC Hydro have mismanaged this whole thing, from top to bottom, and it is the people less able to pay (poverty level and below pensioners and other such folks) who will be dinged with paying for this government’s past decade of mistakes and mismanagement, and BC Hydro’s debt. You can’t get blood from a stone, it’s all I can do to manage to pay the Hydro bill and my full $116.00 medical insurance, on a below poverty level pension.
Something’s gotta give¦ and I have a feeling I will be on the losing end of this whole schnozzle. I already am.
My bill has gone from equal monthly payments of around $95.00 a month, to this last month a bill of $206.00 rated as “overdue”, even though I am paying them on time. They refuse to change this overdue label, I receive my pension at the end of the month, on or about the second to last day, depending if it is a banking day or not. This means I perpetually get an “overdue” label on my account, even though I pay promptly. I have spoken to them several times about this, and the only thing they say is I have to phone them every month so I don’t get late charges. I have NO control over when that money comes in, it’s a tiny provincial government employee pension.
I am at the mercy of both the government and BC hydro in this mess. As far as the increase in my bill goes, I am at my wit’s end, I am cutting back, sitting in the dark no heat etc. Trying not to use at peak periods, because I have a hunch they’ll go there next, to recoup the cost of their billion dollar extravaganza.
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – March 2012
I was part of a Smart Meter Pilot project. The meter was installed in Fall 2009 without my knowledge or consent. I live in a townhouse complex of 17 units and only mine was replaced at that time. I am on an equalized billing plan so I did not see the spike for 3 months. By then I had accumulated a debt of approximately $300. Hydro paid to have Measurement Canada test both my old meter and my new one and they found them both accurate, despite the new meter being the only change for my bill to spike. I am not knowledgeable about the science or health implications of these meters. The meters are kept quite far from my suite in a room of the basement-parking garage. I should mention that I did have acute vestibulopathy last year causing dizziness, nausea and tremors. I was off work for 5 months and am still on a gradual return. That video represents my experience. Thanks for sending it!
Some of my correspondence with BC Hydro in 2010: I have continued to be perplexed about my recorded high energy consumption over the past year in comparison to other years when I was definitely using more power, before BC Hydro replaced my meter last Fall. I notice that BC Hydro only replaced my meter last Fall, not the other 16 homes in my townhouse complex which don’t have the new, digital meters, but still have the old dial meters. Why did BC Hydro change my meter? Despite Measurement Canada finding both my old and new meters accurate, this trouble began with the changing of the meter. BC Hydro has told me it is not a problem with their systems and I will have to get an electrician.
I cannot afford to pay for an electrician. I have been for many years, and remain a customer in good faith. There is no way I could have possibly used the kind of power recorded by BC Hydro. Please tell me what BC Hydro will do to help resolve this perplexing matter. I am not able to do a meter test by seeing how fast the dial spins because of this new digital meter. I want BC Hydro to deal with this matter. Please get back to me about this as soon as possible. I want these mysteries resolved and I want to be reimbursed for the crazy amount of power I was charged for in January 2010.
Update: As you know, I was very dissatisfied with our conversation the other day. You said BC Hydro has an obligation to be fair and reasonable, yet you refused to acknowledge the absurdity of the concept that I could have used 70kw/hr of power in January and that my power usage has gone up overall (and way higher than it should be for a single person living in a 925 sq foot townhouse with electrical baseboard heat) since the meter was replaced last Fall. I have consulted with a friend of a friend who is an electrician who has stated there is no reason that BC Hydro shouldn’t at least replace my meter again. Measurement Canada tested my old meter and found it in the normal range and tested the new meter and found it in the normal range. I would like my old meter back or I would like another new meter. If you are not able to authorize this, please direct me to your supervisor.
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – February 2012
We’ve only moved here since this summer. Our first bill did not include the smart meter but did include 4 months of usage as we did not know we had to inform Hydro of the switch of ownership. We thought this was pre-arranged. 4 months of usage totaled to $150. Then the smart meter came & the following 2 months cost us $434 & we don’t turn on the heat when our little one is gone to daycare.
This is a 400% increase. We find ourselves without money for Christmas gifts. Thank god our little one is too little to even know. We had done the math with our new place with consideration of a normal hydro bill & with both of us working we should either have spending money to fix up this old place or double the mortgage but now we’re actively concerned about having the money to make the next grocery day. Since that first bill we made extra efforts to avoid using electricity (we were already very thrifty) but to no avail. Almost the same exact cost came to us. Shit, if we’re going to pay the same thing no matter what we do why not just use the amount they say we use for REAL. I would like to conduct an investigation to find out where the problem is. I wonder though that if you read the smart meter & it says that the energy consumption is so much lower than that on the bill, could it mean that they’ve recycled for the next month. I need to learn more about this. I knew the powers at be want to extort but everyone uses Hydro in Canada so they don’t have to increase to bill by %400 to make a huge profit. Greedy son’s a bitches. Think about it, if everyone just paid one penny more than usual that’s millions so that %400, that’s greedy.
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – March 2012
I just received my March 2012 bill from BC Hydro and my have almost doubled from this time last year and our life style is the same. In fact we replaced an old fridge with a new energy efficient one and so realistically we should have gone down or at least stayed within 10% of our previous years bill. In the billing cycle for March 2010 we used 5277 KW in March 2011 we used 4941 KW and now BC Hydro is saying we used 8142 KW for March 2012. I don’t see how this is possible.
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – March 2012
There was a smart meter installed at my home, I think I was one of the first residents to receive it. I did not know anything about it when I came home and saw the letter in my mailbox telling me it had been installed. I have done nothing different since it was installed. In fact I have been more careful not to leave ANYTHING on or plugged in. I have received my current hydro bill, my consumption of energy in down compared to last year BUT the bill has increased $250.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I phoned BC Hydro to discuss this and the lady I spoke with was very sarcastic! She actually told me that it is possibly because I leave my cell phone charger plugged in! I asked if I could please have someone attend my house and do a house assessment so i can determine where I am “loosing” hydro. She told me they do not offer any service of the sort and maybe I should go on their website and do a house assessment.
What can i do? If these bills continue to be this expensive, I will have to look for an alternate source of power. I have priced out the cost of a generator and electrician – comparing the increase in my hydro bill and those cost, I will pay for a generator in about a year to year and a half.
Increase Hydro Bill – Terrace – March 2012
Hello, My bill and usage has increased without reason since my BC Hydro smart meter was installed. I read a few articles and they said I should report it to this email address. Do you know what steps I can take to have this meter removed from my house? BC Hydro is not responding to my emails.
Increase Hydro Bill- BC – March 2012
I have come across your email address on “Stop Smart Meters in BC” on facebook, and I would like to take this chance to express my concerns on this matter. Recently I moved to a brand-new place, and I have lived there for only around 3-4 days in the last 17 days. When the BC hydro bill came, I was shocked. They charged me a total of $180 for just the last 17 days! This amount is ridiculous, considering that this place is new, and I don’t even have a TV yet in my place! I have phoned BC Hydro. The customer representative kept on insisting that the meter is verified and accurate, regardless of the fact that how ridiculous the charge is. She threw the ball back to me that it should be me to monitor power usage because the meter is accurate. I asked her to send a electrician to check the meter, and I was told that it should be me to monitor the meter reading and report to them. Is there any other way I could express my concern, and get them to look into this matter please? Please help…
Increase in Hydro Bill – Victoria – March 2012
House is about 1400 square feet small rancher. I did have a heated floor put in my kitchen last summer but have been informed that it really uses very little electricity and I have it set quite low. This new information I am forwarding you includes the consecutive 2 months over the winters for the last several years. As previously mentioned, I have even put in a heat pump, tankless gas water heater, and totally insulated my crawlspace! Here is my consumption over the last several years:
Please let me know what our government is doing to get some investigation going here. I have lived in my home for over 25 years. This is just not right!
Increase in Hydro Bill – Vancouver – March 2012
Vancouver man says bill has tripled since installation by Erin Loxam – News 1130 Radio – March 06, 2012 VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Frustration for a man in Vancouver who has seen his BC Hydro bill shoot up since the installation of a smart meter
http://www.bchydro.com/energy_in_bc/projects/smart_metering_infrastructure_program.html. In just months, he’s paying three times what he did. “A few months ago, they flipped to smart meters in our condo and our bills have gone from usually around $160 for two months,” explains Brad Hugel. “The most recent one was $515 for the two-month period.” What changed? “Just the smart meter. I mean we actually even got a more energy efficient washer-dryer in that time period too.” Hugel isn’t even heating a detached home. He’s talking about a 900 square foot condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. He’s also not surprised that a hydro bill would be more in the winter. That’s one of the explanations given by BC Hydro. The rep also claimed the amount to be comparable to others in the building. “They said most of neighbours are also using about that same amount of energy.” So he emailed several people, “When I talked to my neighbours, their bills are all under $200 at this time of year.” Hugel asked BC Hydro to come check the meter, “They said we don’t need to because the meter seems to be working fine because it’s giving us a reading and it’s what all my neighbours are experiencing as far as their bills. Which they are not.” Hugel moved to the province earlier last year. He knew BC was expensive but figured this was a bit much, “I’ve kind of given up. I don’t see what I can do. I’ve talked to them twice without any kind of resolution.” Hugel is happy to pay the bill, in fact he already has, but just want to make sure it’s right. We are still waiting for a response from BC Hydro. If you’ve seen a huge spike in your BC Hydro bill since your smart meter was installed, let us know about it in the comments section.
We had our smart meter installed in September, and instantly our bill nearly doubled. This was BEFORE the weather turned cold. When in comparison to last year, our bill was $140 less than the exact same time period this year. Also, we are using far less Hydro this year as I am no longer at home with my children during the day. I’m working full-time again and the kids are in school. There isn’t anyone home to use the energy!
* Arcadia * Mar 6, 2012 3:49 PM
Smart Meter installed, but it was old-fashioned error Our most recent bill jumped after the Smart Meter was installed for our apartment building. It spiked from 8-10 kWh to 20 kWh with no change in our energy use at home. When I called BC Hydro I was told that while the Smart Meter was installed it’s not transmitting yet and was manually read like in the past. The BC Hydro rep agreed it was an obvious mistake and said I didn’t have to pay the full amount. I don’t have a problem with the amount; I just wanted it noted and fixed. We’ve had our meter misread once before and it was obvious just like this was. The next reading will correct the mistake.
* Eric * Mar 6, 2012 3:46 PM
He should fix the smart meter… with a sledge hammer. That way they will come out and put a new one in. If it is faulty you will soon find out with a new one.
* Bob * Mar 6, 2012 3:44 PM
Outrageous what unbelievable gall from BC Hydro regarding these damned meters. It is time the Provincial Government and the BC Utilities Commission put a stop to this nonsense. My bills too have shown a huge increase, and there is no reason for it. This is out and out thievery. BC Hydro – face facts – those meters are faulty or you are stealing from your customers. I think it is the latter!
* Rob * Mar 6, 2012 3:42 PM
Increased Hydro Bill – Duncan – March 2012
We just moved in to a little house in Sept 2011. We have gas heat, water and stove. As it is an old house, we have only 8 plugs. All of our light bulbs are energy efficient. I am on a disability pension that gives me barely enough to survive for myself and my daughter. We have had to go without food and without much for Christmas due to a $243 BC Hydro bill for Nov/Dec 2011. Usually my bill would be $56 on equal payments and this would include electric heat. We have had to cut out most meat from our diet (too expensive) since moving here due to Smart Meter expenses. I am not sure how to fight this. I am supposed to be on a high protein diet but cannot afford the protein. Due to BC Hydro, my health has now been compromised from lack of nutrition. We may have to have all of our power disconnected and see if we can have someone help us out with a generator in order to keep a fridge running. It’s just wrong that BC Hydro is allowed to take food out of people’s mouths, literally, for their own greedy benefit. I’m not sure how these people look at themselves in the mirror each day and continue on as if they are not affecting disabled people and children.
What kind of horrors need to happen before our government steps in and changes this atrocity? I have friends here in Shawnigan Lake who have petitions going against smart meters. I would be willing to help in any way I can. I cry every day as I have my hands tied with his dilemma. I’m not sure what someone in my position can do to help rectify this mess.
Thank you so much for caring enough to try to do something about this. I will pray every day for your success. Please help the people like me who are just trying to survive and not become homeless.
Increase Hydro Bill – Prince George – February 2012
This month the billing for 2 months was the highest it’s ever been. About $170.00 more than this time last year. BC Hydro installed the Smart Meter in August 2011 even though I’d posted a notice from Citizens for Safe Technology saying No Smart Meter. And then said they hadn’t done that. But if you want more information re: getting rid of Smart Meters, let me know.
Increased BC Hydro Bill – Victoria – February 2012
On November 2, 2011 B.C. Hydro installed a Smart Meter at my house. The billing period was from September 28 until November 28. 2011. The old meter showed that we had used 2051kwh over 36 days. This works out to 57 kwh a day. The new meter showed that we used 2160 kwh over 25 days. This works out to 86 kwh a day, an instant 29 kwh daily increase. I feel the new meter is overcharging us.
My next billing period was from November 29, 2011 until January 26, 2012, a total of 59 days. According to the meter and Hydro we used 6254 kwh, an average of 106 kwh a day. Last year, 2011, in the same period we averaged 70 kwh a day for a total of 4331 kwh and in 2010 an average 0f 68 kwh for a total of usage of 4895 kwh. In previous years we have had higher use but have made major cutbacks in our power use.
I have phoned Hydro on 3 occasions regarding this difference. Each time I got the run around. I have made lifestyle changes, the old meter was running slow, etc. I was told the new meter is digital and can not be wrong. The meter that was replaced was also digital, dose the not be wrong not apply to it also?
I asked that the new meter be verified as accurate or be replaced. Hydro has refused. They refuse to investigate, to take any action at all. They say the problem is mine. They also say there is nothing wrong with the new meter.
I feel this is very arrogant on their part. I feel bullied. It seems their customer service motto is “The Customer is always Wrong”.
Increase Hydro Bill –Sechelt – March 2012
My husband and I have lived in our home over ten years. We’ve learned a lot from owning our first house and living on the Coast. We have gone through a lot of ups and downs with bills learning how the cost of some can really suck our money out. After many years we learned what to use and not use, what we needed and what we didn’t. The one bill we have never had a problem with and always loved how we could easily afford it, was our hydro bill.
For ten years we’ve paid an average of one hundred dollars, it has been great knowing we don’t need to work on saving with our electricity. Then along came your smart meter. We didn’t know much about the smart meter, only how it is suppose to help YOU, BC hydro, be able to monitor things better. Save YOU money on not sending out hydro readers. Saving YOU money on not having to find out why people have lost power. I figured it was helping YOU save money and that was good, minus the fact people would be loosing their jobs over it.
Then along came our very first bill from our smart meter. Two hundred and thirty five dollars. I had to say goodbye to those groceries I was going to buy. My husband and I have spent our time arguing about what can be on and what can not. One thing that is a no is our heating. We have been using oil heaters for years, now? Nope, we have to pack them up. We are fighting on if we need cable, the internet, and what rooms we hardly go in and can take the lights out. A lot of arguments, severe head aches, vomiting from the stress of it, and next to no sleep, I am petrified what our next bill is going to be. We have pulled out every single blanket we have. We have pulled out our scarfs, toques, and gloves. Got candles, radio’s that work on batteries, and a lot of pain medication and gravol.
I demand you come and take YOUR ‘smart’ meter back. This is an official letter to remove the smart meter from my residence and return the old one. The one where my husband and I can live in a warm house and have no worries as to what our next bill will be. The one where I won’t be so sick and be able to get back to normal sleeping. I know YOU, BC Hydro, has no care for human life, but I am giving you one chance to just return my meter. If you choose not to, I will contact a lawyer. B.C. citizens should not have to live in frozen homes due to your greed. We have a right to our privacy, and a right to live healthily. I know you really don’t care, but it would be nice if you could try.
P.S. If you don’t believe me, you are more than welcome to come over anytime to find out for yourself. Don’t worry, I’m keeping all my doctors notes, prescriptions, and missed work due to illness to hand over to my lawyer, along with bills all way back to 2003 from you. And people thought I was crazy holding onto every bill I’ve ever had. Yes, your bill ten years ago where it was one hundred and fifteen. Yes the one from one year ago that was seventy three. And yes, they are all from the same time period.
Increase Hydro Bill – Victoria – March 2012
Here is another story about the smart meters. I received my BC Hydro bill this March to find my first tier was charged out at $40.09 and my second tier at $403.66 for one month. This amount of money represents half of my mortgage and a 2 1/2 times my regular rate before the smart meters. I am now faced with a grim fact that I will not be able to afford hydro to keep my children warm in the winter months as there is no way I can reduce any other bills to afford these types of rate hikes. As a mother I am already cutting back for my children. I buy clothes only when my others are threadbare, cosmetics are optional, food for myself is minimal. I received a 4% wage increase in the last 4 years. BC Hydro wants a 250% increase or just under 4 of my 26 paydays in a year. I’m sorry, but this is wrong on so many levels. BC Hydro has just drawn the line that only the elite top earners will be able to afford to have hydro in Victoria, the rest of us will have to sell our homes as the hydro rates will not accommodate lower pay check earners, I feel like I have been discriminated against as a citizen of less financial abilities and a single parent. I cannot help but think that some higher BC Hydro management will be rubbing there hands together anticipating buying my house cheap as the hydro rates have put me out of the housing market in Victoria
I work as a nurse. I am writing to my union to ask them to demand COLA in our upcoming contract. I am also sending the same letter to all BC unions to also demand COLA. My friend at the hospital works as a unit aide at $21, her bill was $575 for March. The lady who owns the local grocery near me got a bill for over $600. These are not isolated bills, but a consistent pattern. The government didn’t win on HST, so now working families are being robbed through 250% increases in their hydro bills. This is very sad.
if you will entertain just one more thought from me: Not only will new home buyers have to qualify for mortgages, but now they will equally have to qualify for Hydro – which will leave them out of the housing market. Every retailer, merchant and service business will suffer as people stop spending to just have enough money to pay the hydro to keep their children and selves warm in the winter. A sole provider put in place to serve all the people should be affordable to everyone.
Increased Hydro Bill – Valemount – March 2012
Corix trucks arrived at an apartment building in Valemount, B.C. to remove all the smart Hydro meters. Residents had been warned to prepare for an extended power outage because “there was a major malfunction with the meters.”
Power was off from 7:00 a,m. to 7:00 p.m. Tues March 6th. The three Corix trucks were there all day.
One returned the next morning. Tenants have not received any details about the ‘major malfunction’. Hydro smart meters were installed in the Valemount area only about two months ago. Residents in the area, including some in the apartment building, have seen large increases in their hydro bills from the same time a year ago since the new meters were installed.
Those who complain to Hydro are told they have to prove they haven’t used that much power. The meters in the apartment building are probably not the only ones malfunctioning in Valemount or around the Province. Surely the public deserves an explanation.
Increased Hydro Bill – Delta – February 2012
Hi I had on Global BC about smart meter. Hydro install our Delta residential smart meter sept/2011 .I am senior and I’m concern about my health and hydro bills. Our average two months hydro bills were under $300.00. Our last bill from Oct18 to Dec15/2011 two months hydro bill was $680.76. I phone Hydro customer service but nobody seem to care. And I don’t know were else to take my complaint. I did paid $300.00 out of $680.76 Feb 6/2012 just to avoid hydro disconnection and bad credit. Thank you
Increased Hydro Bill – Roberts Creek – February 2012
The hydro bill for our home in Roberts Creek, which we received in February, showed an increase in consumption of 20% and an increase in cost of 37% over the same period in the past 2 years. Our electricity use habits have not changed this year from the past and generally speaking it has been a much milder winter in our area. We moved into this home in 2007 and at that time were experiencing very high bills. We questioned BC Hydro about the accuracy of the meter at that time and were informed that a new meter had been installed in early 2007.
They stated that it was accurate and was producing readings that were consistent with previous years’ billings. At that time we performed an Eco-Energy audit on our home and invested extensively in air sealing and insulation to retain heat and reduce our consumption. We were successful in reducing consumption by 50% and saw consistent bills year over year after achieving this.
The only thing that has changed is the installation of a smart meter and since then our consumption readings have increased. I contacted BC Hydro and informed them of these facts and requested that our old meter be reinstalled. They declined our request to do so and suggested that this winter has been colder than previous winters and increased heating demands or a change in usage pattern has likely caused the increase in electricity consumption. I understand that you are collecting reports of this nature.
Please let me know what I can do to have the so-called “smart meter” removed. Can I do it myself if I buy a new meter (old style) and use a private licensed electrical contractor?
Increase Hydro Bill – Vancouver Island – March 2012
I have been renovating a non-occupied house. My hydro meter reading, per day, has been 4 kw/day for the last six months. The house is not occupied and there are no appliances or heating system installed. Up until January 4th/2012, my monthly bill for the six months prior to installation of your ‘smart meter’ was around $25 dollars….at 4kw/day.
After your smart meter was installed on Jan.4/2012 until Feb 22, I received a hydro bill for $514.22, claiming that I somehow used 107 KW/day!!! I want to know what in heavens is going on, because I have not increased my hydro energy/power usage in the last seven months. I consider your Hydro smart meter billing process to be ‘fraudulent’ and ‘exploitive’. I expect Hydro to supply an immediate remedy.
PS: I will be publishing this letter in the local newspapers, If I do not receive a ‘smart meter’ repair immediately. I am wondering how many thousands of other BC residents are being billed improperly and fraudulently with your new smart meter technology.
Increase Hydro Bill – Gabriola – March 2012
I was away working and came home to a smart meter. I left my house on Dec. 9, 2011 for a 3 month vacation. I turned the heat and water heater off, unplugged the fridge and all appliances. I returned to a bill of 262.13 for December and January, the months when all power was off. This is the highest bill I have ever received. Hydro basically said tough luck when I phoned then ignored my email. Now I am calling you and my MLA. I assume I am not alone with this issue.
Increased Hydro Bill – Sooke – March 2012
We contacted BC Hydro today on our hydro bill going up $250 in our last statement and they refused to do anything about it. They say it is due to the weather being colder and that our bill was 70% heat use. We in fact have 3 less heaters then last year. We bought a “Comfort Furnace” space heater for efficiency saying it reduces energy consumption by 30-50%.
We live in a 900 sq foot manufactured home. We have a pump house that requires heating but are using two less heaters this year reducing consumption from 3 heaters to 1 in the pump house due to tank an pipe freezing. And this year we have had so few below 0 days. They wouldn’t accept our explanation as to how this can’t be and said that this was a colder year than last. Unbelievable!!!!
Just wanted to let you know as you wanted to keep updated on people who had the over billing problem like us. We are not one of the ones that Hydro will give a return or refund to. It is warmer here on the island than in Vancouver always, and usually by 2-8 degrees averaging on 5 degrees warmer. So, go figure!
We compared it to last years and we are up $250 using less electricity. We even went as far as seeing what each appliance and our use of electricity use over everything including the space heaters and still it shouldn’t be as high. What is interesting is that they say that December was the colder month and when we compared it to last year we only had a $50 dollar increase in the same time period as last Nov./Dec. statement. What is interesting is that it is our “January/February”, statement that has a 30% increase not in December’s statement as was the argument on the news.
Our smart meter was installed in the middle of August/2011. The news was saying that Hydro is saying that the higher costs is due to a colder winter this winter but the expert said that in order for a 30% hike to happen in a billing period that the temperature would have to drop to -20 degrees for this to be possible. We have never had such a high wattage use printed on our statement going back 1 year.
How can you get an actual accurate reading independent from Hydro’s say so meter reading? So, how do you fight the government on this? You can’t or else get your power cut off….
Increased Hydro Bill – Burnaby – March 2012
Firstly, thank you for your group and organization. I never realized the issues with the meters until having one installed for the last 4 months. Our issue is billing, and it is a significant difference.
About us, we are in a new home (moved in late April 2011), completely insulated, all appliances are “Energy Star”, we use a heat pump system for heat/air-condition and our cooking is by gas. There are 3 adults in the home, where at times we work from home but mostly out in the office. According to BCHydro a smart meter was installed on Nov 26, 2011 (without our knowledge).
In Feb 2012 during construction, where there were heaters setup everywhere around the home drying out the mud and plaster the old meter had a consumption usage of 94kWh, then in April of 63kWh where work was still being completed. We are billed every 2 months and these are the daily averages according to our billing dates; 2011 June – 33kWh, August 25kWh, October 29kWh (Bill $154.59). November in comes the Smart meter. Dec – 51kWh ($287.77), Feb 2012 – 63kWh ($360.06).
We are not heavy usage people, and I truly believe there is some serious issues with the whole program. We are sending our meter off to Measurements Canada for testing, and I have requested Hydro place the non-smart electric meter in its place while the testing is done, but they
advised me this isn’t possible. What are your thoughts?
Increased Hydro Bill – BC – March 2012
We request to have the BC Hydro smart meter removed. Our bill has more than doubled to $448.96 in January and now again to $429.88 in February. I called BC Hydro and was told it had nothing to do with peak hour usage.
I wanted to know how this drastic increase was justified and did not get any answers. Our usage habits have not changed at all. On the contrary – we have been heating our house with our wood fireplace, have not done hot water laundry loads and reduced showers.
So something is wrong. We expect you to get back to us right away and a refund for January. We are not in the position to pay the February bill.
Increase in BC Hydro Bill – Vancouver Island – February 2012
So we do have a smart meter…we just got our first hydro bill since the meter was put in and it was $950.00. It has never been that high…it is usually about $200-$300. I phoned BC hydro and they wanted me to check the meter to see if it was read wrong. I asked to have it removed because I never gave them permission to put it in and they said they could not remove it and that everybody WILL have one by the end of the year. My husband is so mad…he phoned our MLA and is waiting to hear back.
Thank you for all the info and I have forwarded them to my friends. I have asked around about other people’s Hydro bills and they are all really high. We were in Courtenay and were talking about this at dinner with friends and the waitress over heard and said hers was also high…she said she lives in a townhouse with her son and it was over $600. There is definitely something wrong.
Increase BC Hydro Bill – Ladysmith – February 2012
Vince Potter says he has concerns after his Hydro bill jumped from $98 to $219 one cycle after the smart meter was installed.
Increased BC Hydro Bill – Powell River – February 2012
HI I just wanted to let you know that our hydro bill has gone crazy since this smart meter was put in we were not even in town when they did this what gives them the right to trespass I have been phoning them n they keep on saying they look at the pic n the reading is right but I told them the guy is 78 yrs old and he’s lived here for 7 yrs n has never had a bill this high but there’s nothing they can do here is his bill history. Now we get 2 hydro bills this one is for the water-heated garage
Feb14/12 174.33 Dec14/11 101.74
Oct17/11 188.97 Aug16/11 99.25
June15/11 90.03 April14/11 69.18
Feb15/11 107.80 Dec15/10 101.03
This next one is for the main house. I just don’t know how they can justify this huge hike on this bill this is a old man who is retired and just gets a cpp check of 5 hundred and something a month he can
Feb14/12 652.99 JAN18/12 2046.34
Oct17/11 178.51 Aug16/11 146.45
Jun15/11 240.02 April14/11 341.02
Feb15/11 388.87 Dec15/10 228.87
Not afford these hydro bills maybe it’s time for him to start eating cat food he’s gonna have to just pay them what he can till they shut off his hydro
Hydro Bills Spiked – CHEK NEWS Feb 28 2012
150 more Complaints on BC Hydro Bills – CTV NEWS FEB 29 2012
Costs Increase Complaints – CTV NEWS FEB 28, 2012
Susan McDonnell contacted Steele on Your Side after receiving a $745 power bill in December for her one-bedroom Kitsilano condo – a jump of more than 1,000 per cent.
Hydro Cost Increase after Meter Installed – CHEK NEWS – FEB 23 2012
Increase Hydro Bill – BC – January 2012
I had a power bill @ my empty rental house for $ 100. There was only a 100 watt bulb running. I have the previous bill.
Increase in Hydro – Vancouver – March 6, 2012
“A few months ago, they flipped to smart meters in our condo and our bills have gone from usually around $160 for two months,” explains Brad Hugel. “The most recent one was $515 for the two-month period.” source News1130
Increase in Hydro – Chilliwack – February 2012
“I just received my Hydro bill, the first one since those damn meters were switched and it’s DOUBLE what it usually is. There is NO WAY I am paying $500 when we have never paid over $239 in the past two years. Grrrrrrr! “
Increase in Hydro – Surrey – January 2012
This is to inform you that after getting a smart meter our hydro almost doubled in usage. Our furnace and water tank are both gas, and our usage has been pretty much the same. I phoned hydro and asked for our old meter back. I was told that was impossible as it was destroyed.. I was given the standard reply for the increase in our usage which was ” obviously your old meter was not functioning correctly as it should have. I also brought up the 2 step pricing, as I very seldom went into that and then maybe only 1 or 2 dollars worth. My first bill with the smart meter put me into step 2 at $ 31.84. I disagreed with their amount and was told no that is correct. At that point I was getting quite annoyed and said that nobody living in a house would not be paying for a lot of usage in step 2. Then I was told that my rates would be the same for a long time to come, upon which I replied that that was such a load of bull—- as according to the news the last couple of months our hydro is going to increase big time. The man I talked to also said that we had to have the smart meter as it was mandated by the Campbell government and had nothing to do with them. I was under the impression that B.C Hydro asked for the smart meters and the government and or crtc approved it. He then informed me that it didn’t really matter as we have no say in the matter, to which my reply was, “what happened with Campbell, Carol James and the Hst? Maybe we should ask Mr. Vanderzalm to help us out with the smart meters!!!
Increased Hydro – BC – January 2012
I have made my opposition to the installation of smart meters made known to BC Hydro. This morning I received a hydro bill for the period covering November 5, 2011 to January 5, 2012 and found that the amount had risen to $350.80 from the $130.00 to $150.00 average I had been paying throughout the last year. It is not surprising to find BC Hydro taking this action in retaliation for my stance on the smart meter issue. I have called BC Hydro and been told that I have a choice of either paying this amount or having my service stopped. Has anyone else had to deal with a similar situation? Any suggestions on how to proceed would be very much appreciated. Thank you for your assistance and suggestions.
Home in Fraser Canyon, Increase before Time of Use
Home on Vancouver Island, Increase before Time of Use
Home in Vancouver, Increase before Time of Use