LETTER: Customers should not have to pay for BC Hydro Crisis Fund

Open letter to all residential BC Hydro customers:

Are you aware of a little item on your BC Hydro bill called the Customer Crisis Fund? Google it at BC Hydro’s web page.

To summarize, basically it is a three-year pilot project that BC Hydro applied for and BC Utilities approved back in May 2018 and you are contributing to this fund at a rate 0f $0.0082/day—about 25 cents per month.

This is not a donation but is mandatory. Not only is it mandatory it is also GST taxable. They expect to collect approximately $5 million annually which means $1.4 million in GST annually — and apparently grant approval is up to the discretion of BC Hydro.

Bad luck for anyone with a good credit rating; you have to jeopardize it to qualify for these emergency funds. Good news for anyone with a bad credit rating; you’re already there, get your application into Hydro. They are giving away our money. So if your grant is approved thank the residents of this province, not BC Hydro.

I would encourage all the residents to get on the phone to the BC Utilities Commission and BC Hydro and ask questions like:

Why is there no exemption for residents who are living on a FIXED income assistance, disability or pension from this mandatory fund when they are already struggling in this economy?

Is it even legal to tax people on this…this is neither goods nor services that any of us have purchased?

Do you think that this fund will promote energy efficiency or be detrimental to it?

Here is something for us all to contemplate: if Hydro can do this what’s next? Natural gas, telephone companies?

This a pilot project, precedence is being set here but your words have power, please make your voice heard.

I would suggest that they could have established this fund by freezing the CEO of BC Hydro wages for three years as he is clearly out of touch with most peoples’ fiscal reality in this province.

This is a social and government issue, not a utilities issue. How was this allowed to happen?

People not paying their bills is not the responsibility of those who do. It’s the cost of doing business.

Lorraine Holubowski

Terrace, B.C.

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