As rural B.C. residents experience another winter of exorbitant electricity bills, they should be aware that this is because the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) approved a two-tier pricing system for BC Hydro and FortisBC that was incorrectly designed.
A correct two-tier pricing system would encourage all customers to conserve electricity and only raise the bills of those who failed to act. The one approved by the BCUC simply penalizes those who use electricity for space and water heating (primarily rural residents who have no access to natural gas), even though their high electricity consumption has nothing to do with their level of energy efficiency. The resulting revenue is then transferred to those residents who use natural gas for space and water heating in the form of lower electricity rates. As a result, this so-called “conservation rate” is actually encouraging the majority of customers (about 70 per cent) to consume more electricity.
There is a petition requiring the BCUC to immediately fix the design of their so-called conservation rate. The petition, and further information on this issue, can be accessed at: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/bcuc-must-end-its-discriminatory-electricity-pricing-against-rural-customers.html