Fortis came in like a lamb but becoming a lion

The nice friendly community power company that bought-out West Kootenay Power is showing us a different side.

The nice friendly community power company that bought-out West Kootenay Power is showing us a different side.

They are walking out on the City of Trail without even saying good bye. The City of Penticton is looking for alternate power sources as Fortis is too expensive. Their new rates are really putting it to 60 per cent of us. Of course, as pointed out by Fortis, 40 per cent are not getting an increase. What was really said is, your turn is coming. They stated that those with electric furnaces might see as much as a 12 per cent increase.

I have an electric furnace and my increase for next month is $43 per month ($516 per year), which is an increase of 14.43 per cent.

I sent a complaint to the Utilities Commission (our supposed watchdog), stating that they allowed competition to be removed by approving the sale of the natural gas company to Fortis and then allowing a large electrical rate increase to many of us.

The commission, as I have been told, suggested the rate structure in the first place. The response to my letter, which did not address my complaint, detailed the rate increase, and stated that it is designed to help meet the growing demand for electricity (there are more people that they have to worry about then us).

There was no mention of the purchase of the gas company. My next move was to send it to Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, and Opposition Critic for Seniors. I did not even get a note from Ms Conroy’s office acknowledging receipt of my letter.

Many of the people that built houses in the 70’s and early 80’s put in electric furnaces. It was promoted, at that time, as clean and economical.

Many of those people are now seniors, getting the brunt of the increase, and ignored by our officials.

How many businesses advertise to not use their product. Fortis does (Power Smart etc.). Why would you do this? Why not, when you can get more money selling the power elsewhere then you can selling it locally.

Greening or Greenwashing?

Remember when Teck (Cominco), during a strike, made more money selling power than when they were operating.

How is this for a novel idea? Columbia Basin Trust’s share of the Waneta dams power expansion, be used to offset rate increases in the Columbia Basin. The trust was set up for all of us in the Basin, so why not subsidize all that live in the Basin. Many that the trust was set up for are passing on without any benefit.

Say nothing, do nothing, and we will all pay.

Gib Turner

Rossland

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