FortisBC filling its coffers with power rates

"There has never been any discussion on internal charges that Fortis may also be claiming for capital projects under taken."

At the risk of being boring on the topic of Fortis’s continuing power rate increases, and their attempts to publicly justify them, there needs a little more information to the recent letter published in the Trail Times from Fortis’s head office (“FortisBC responds to reader’s letter on rates” Trail Times Jan. 15).

The letter stated the Fortis had invested a billion dollars in the system upgrades.

The statement is true, but lets look at the details and who has the responsibility for the debt?

The public utilities commission has allowed Fortis to assume 40 per cent of the debt, while the responsibility for the 60 per cent of the billion is you and I the ratepayers.

Fortis’ profits from our share of the debt of $600 million, is about $50 million for just being in the room and not have the primary responsibility for debt payment.

The Public Utilities Commission has also allowed Fortis to take millions annually in a special bonus for what is called risk investment in the company.

There has never been any discussion on internal charges that Fortis may also be claiming for capital projects under taken.

According to the Dermod Travis column (“What’s good for the B.C. Liberals may not be good for B.C. Hydro” Trail Times Feb. 17), Quebec has the second lowest rates in Canada, the rate increases from 2007 to 2015 was 17.1 per cent. In that same time period B.C. rates have increased a dramatic 63.2 per cent.

To make matters worse we have 11 power generating facilities in our immediate area, the highest density per square mile of anywhere in the world.

We now can also claim to have the highest power rate in Canada with Fortis’ new two tier rate structure that is generating millions to Fortis’s revenue.

Norm Gabana

Trail