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Letters  

Drop two-tier BC Hydro rate

Re. FortisBC receives approval to raise rates in New Year (Castanet, Dec. 7)

We have been paying a "two tier" rate for our BC Hydro electricity use since our West Kelowna home was built in 2004 with an electric heat pump for heating and cooling. Unlike the new FortisBC plan (in Kelowna) to charge just one rate starting in 2023, BC Hydro’s first tier rate is in the 10 cents per Kwh range, which applies to the first 1,600 to1,800 Kwh used per month.

The second tier rate kicks in above that usage and it's a severe penalty for using more than the "allowed" rate at the higher,1 5 cents per Kwh. Such is its basis for charging electric heat pump users a 50% penalty/surcharge for their heating/cooling electric usage verses those who use natural gas heat.

An electric heat pump installation in a home pretty well guarantees nearly all energy used for heating and cooling falls within the +50% Tier 2, with the normal 1,600 Kwh allowance taken up by regular home uses such as lights, appliances etc.

For a utility that has recently preached, by means of TV ads, emails, internet pop-up ads a switch to an electric heat pump (over FortisBC gas), BC Hydro is recruiting more users to its punishing 50% Tier 2 electric rolls.

I'm clipping the recent Castanet news story that in 2023, FortisBC (in Kelowna and in other jurisdictions) is going to a one-rate plan for it's electricity billings.

How about it, BC Hydro, let's stop punishing those who already have heat pumps and those who you are promoting the switch to a heat pump to for home heating and cooling and follow FortisBC to the one-rate plan. Your 50% penalty is just too much.

As of 2023, all residential use will be billed at a single rate and, for the first time since 2011, customers will see only one line item on their bill for all the kilowatt hours they have used for each billing period.

Alan Sanderson



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