Hydro overcharging for reading meters

letter to the editor from Tony Brumell - Hydro overcharging for reading meters

To the editor;

I recently sent a letter to the B.C. Utilities Commission decrying the extortionate charges, $35 per month, to keep and maintain my analog hydro meter. Further to that letter I met and talked with the person who reads the analog meters for Terasen Gas (Fortis B.C. Energy).

This person told me that he is paid 40 cents per meter and works for a firm called Ola Meters Inc. that does contract meter reading in North America.  This person assured me that contracts can be reached to read any kind of meter.  This would include hydro, gas and water meters and the cost would be very low.

When B.C. Hydro says that the $35 per month fee is not revenue generating or punitive, I believe it is misrepresenting the facts.  Historically, the meters have always been physically read every other month and the cost was such that it was included in the normal monthly charges.  For that cost to now approach the cost of energy used is not rational and must be stopped.

I believe it is time that B.C. and Kamloops city residents – with their water meters – stand up to the corporate bullying in this regard and demand an end to the illegal practice of negative billing.

Signing a contract with Ola would meet these conditions in a fair and equitable way.  It might also employ many additional people in B.C., maybe laid-off B.C. Hydro meter readers!

The cost of meter reading would be greatly reduced by allowing co-operative reading of all meters on one visit, including city water meters.

It should be remembered that cities in B.C. used the same bullying practices when residents were forced to pay up to $1,000 so that they could be safe from the radio emissions of these water meters.

B.C. residents must stand up for their individual rights or they will lose them.  Call your MLA or MP.

Tony Brumell

Kamloops, B.C.