Now that we are into the heating season, I thought Id like to talk about an issue with B.C. Hydro that some people might not be aware of.
For several decades, B.C. Hydro calculated your bill based on two steps. The first 1400 KWH of power was charged at a high rate and all the power over that (step two) was charged at a lower rate. The purpose was to give you a better rate for using more. This is the same as almost everything else you purchase.
B.C. Hydro also actively promoted the use of electricity as a clean energy. About three years ago, under the direction of the B.C. Liberals Green Initiative B.C. Hydro reversed the calculation and started giving the low rate to the first 1400 KWH and the high rate to everything above. This caused the hydro bill for most customers to go down initially because these customers were heating with natural gas and had a low bill anyway giving very little incentive to save energy.
People that lived in rural areas however were not always lucky enough to have natural gas in their area and therefore were forced to use electricity to heat with. The result was a 30 per cent increase in hydro charges based on this change alone compounded by any increases in the rate. Then along came HST.
The combination of this change in calculation and the introduction of HST caused an increase of 300 per cent on the tax portion of the B.C. Hydro bill. Ironically, I must reduce my use of the cleanest energy on the planet in favor of an emission producing gas furnace.