Rising BC Hydro rates affect the middle class

Where’s the sense in higher rates driving other families into the poor house?

IT’S not often a government admits its policies are putting its citizens into the poor house, but let’s give credit to Premier Christy Clark for doing exactly that.

Last fall the provincial government announced electricity rate hikes of 28 per cent over five years.

Then last month BC Hydro announced it was expanding its low-income energy conservative program of providing no-charge items such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and weather stripping by raising the income qualification cut off. It’s now $57,200, up from $44,000 for a family of four.

Good news for those who qualify and bad news for those who don’t.

If the self-stated goal of the province is to conserve electricity to better meet rising demand avoid building new and expensive new generating then, by all means, it should provide no-charge energy savings measures to all of its citizens.

Setting aside income, people living in the north, regardless of income, have higher power demands because  of longer winters and less daylight. What’s the difference between a kilowatt consumed in a lower income family then one consumed in a family of higher income?

If the province admits that hydro pricing affects lower income people, then where’s the sense in higher rates driving other families into the poor house?

Premier Clark needs to re-examine her “families first” agenda.