Dear Anarchist & Sidley Mtn Neighbours
Last night, Sept 13th, we held a community meeting at the Summit Centre to discuss the Fortis Rate Design Application process.
We were delighted that 30 neighbours attended the meeting, and participated with helpful questions and comments. It’s clear that residents are quite annoyed with the way FORTIS charges us for electricity, and that this is a community issue.
Nick Marty, who is a former Director of Policy with the Federal Office Of Energy Efficiency, gave a slide presentation of the issues and of the regulatory process that will approve FORTIS ‘ electricity rate structure for the next five years. Nick also informed residents at the meeting about the importance of being an intervener since an intervener can request data and analysis from FORTIS, can cross-examine FORTIS’ assertions and present its own evidence to challenge those assertions. The regulatory process is expected to commence in November when FORTIS files their application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). Nick’s slide presentation can be viewed by clicking HERE.
The main question that the meeting dealt with was : Should the Anarchist Mtn Community Society (AMCS) take on applying to be an Intervener, and request funding for the rate hearings that will happen? I pointed out to the audience that AMCS doesn’t get involved in “political” issues, however the Directors of AMCS see the electricity rate issue as an economic issue rather than a political one. The audience agreed with that contention. We asked the audience plainly if they wished AMCS to take this on, for all area residents. We had unanimous agreement with a show of hands to proceed.
We welcome anyone that wasn’t at the meeting to comment to Nick and Mark, if you have a point of view that you wish to raise. We will consider your comments. Otherwise, the AMCS , lead by Nick & Teresa Marty and supported by AMCS, plan to investigate what is required to apply for and secure intervener status and intervener funding to participate in the hearings.
In the meantime, it is important that as many residents as possible provide FORTIS with feedback on their consultations at fortisbc.com/electricityratedesign prior to the September 30th deadline (see slide 13 of Nick’s presentation). He is suggesting that you just submit something like the following statement: Two-tier rates are not encouraging efficient behaviour and are discriminating against customers using electricity for space and water heating. The best rate option is a return to a flat rate.
Mark McKenney, President, AMCS