General News · 3rd November 2016
North Island residents are being disproportionally affected by BC Hydro’s two-tier billing, according to MLA Claire Trevena.
“Under the BC Liberals the cost of hydro has skyrocketed, but many people in this constituency have no choice but to turn to electricity. Combine that with homes that are not well insulated and the bills become unmanageable,” said Trevena.
“Fuel poverty is a reality for many people. From the seniors who have to make a choice between paying their electricity bill or buying groceries to families who see cost spiraling out of control and are faced with disconnection.”
Trevena has again written to the BC Utilities Commission, arguing that two-tier pricing unfairly discriminates against people in the North Island’s rural and remote communities. Trevena wrote to the BCUC 18 months ago, raising these concerns; following that a review of the system is being undertaken.
“Two tier pricing is supposed to encourage conservation. But that doesn’t happen if your home is not well insulated; many North Island homes aren’t and retrofitting is cost prohibitive for many people,” she said.
“While some people in Campbell River can use natural gas, residents of all the other communities I represent – from Cortes Island to Tahsis to Port Hardy – have no such choice. If there is any secondary source of heat it is primarily wood.
“The choices people may have in cities are simply not available to many people who live in rural and remote resource communities.”
The Official Opposition is committed to a massive program province-wide of retrofits if elected next May, both for job creation and energy conservation.
People have until November 24th to send their own concerns to the BC Utilities Commission at Commission.Secretarybcuc.com or by mail to Ms Laurel Ross, Acting Commission Secretary, BC Utilities Commission, Sixth Floor, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver V6Z 2N3.