A Message From Nick Marty on 2-Tier Electricity Pricing

To: Residents of Anarchist Mountain

Many of you will have received or will soon be receiving your electricity bill for the past two months (unless you are on equal billing, in which case I understand you receive bills monthly). My bill for December 16 to February 16 is over $1000. I estimate that between January 1 (when the latest Fortis rate increase went into effect) and February 16, I was charged 14.5 cents/kWh which, of course, is totally absurd because this rate is way above the cost of generating electricity and way above the rates being charged to residents who use natural gas for space and water heating and are thus able to keep their electricity consumption in the first tier.

The Government continues to drag its heels in responding to our concerns, while continuing to claim that BC residents are paying electricity rates that are among the lowest in Canada. The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) is still writing their report to the Minister of Energy on the two-tier electricity rates based on the evidence submitted to them during their proceedings, including letters that many of you sent in. It’s not clear that BCUC will release its report prior to the May provincial election.

It is important that we continue to put political pressure on the Government in the run-up to the May election. I am therefore proposing that when you receive your electricity bill for the last two months, that you send a copy to our MLA — Linda Larson — demanding action if she wants to receive your vote in the upcoming election. If you heat your home with electricity, your bill for the last two months will be very high. So, this will be an excellent opportunity to show that the Government is making false statements when they argue that BC’s electricity rates are among the lowest in Canada and that residents like us have experienced “minimal” bill impacts as a result of the two-tier rates.

You can either attach a copy of your bill to your email or just include the key figures in your email – energy used Block 1; energy used Block 2 and total electricity bill for the two month period (those of you who receive monthly bills should add your two most recent bills together). I have provided text below that you can use in your emails.

If you’ve managed to reduce your bill by burning wood or using some other fuel, it is very important that you note that in your email. Indeed, if you’ve managed to significantly reduce your bill in this fashion, you may prefer to just send a complaining email to your MLA without providing details about your bill. I’ve also provided some email addresses to whom you can copy your complaint.

Nick Marty


Dear Linda Larson: linda.larson.mla@leg.bc.ca

cc premier@gov.bc.ca; oppositionleader@leg.bc.ca; colleen.ross@bcndp.ca; cbcnewsvancouver@cbc.ca; tips@GlobalTVBC.com; Shelby.thom@globalnews.ca

I am sending you a copy of my latest electricity bill that is in the amount of $________. Your Government has stated that BC’s electricity rates are among the lowest in Canada and that the typical home using electricity for heat has seen “minimal bill impacts” as a result of the two-tier rate system. This bill clearly refutes these statements. And, it is important to point out that the bill would have been much higher if I had not significantly increased the usage of my ________ (wood) (propane) (oil) heating.

Yes, the last few months have been abnormally cold but the reason my bill is so high is because your so-called “conservation” rate is nothing of the sort unless by “conservation” you mean freezing in the dark. The two-tier electricity rate is simply a “tax” on all residents that use electricity for space and water heating. It charges residents, such as myself, an electricity rate that is way above the cost of generating that electricity. And, to make matters worse, the amount of the “tax”, and the “tax rate” itself automatically increase whenever the weather gets colder since that places a larger proportion of my consumption in the second tier.

This “tax” is completely unjustified and is in violation of the BC Utilities Commission Act which forbids discriminatory rates such as this one. Unless the Government makes it clear that this “tax” will be scrapped, you can forget about getting my support in the upcoming election.