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Bruce’s mug in the Monday Province

October 7, 2010

Opening the Vancouver Province last Monday morning held a special surprise for the boys in the BCCGE mailroom.  There on page A8 was a great photo of Bruce Sanderson along with an accompanying article inspired by our press release from last Thursday.

The boys in the mailroom got a big kick out of the photo’s “Masterpiece Theatre” look and it left them wondering if Bruce was going to announce another Rumpole of the Bailey Marathon.

But all gentle chiding aside, judging from the email we received in relation to the Province article it’s clear that Bruce isn’t the only person to have experienced an inadvertent “Step 2” overcharge on their hydro bill.

One couple who shared their experience with us said their current hydro bill was “overestimated” by nearly 5,000 kilowatt-hours, which resulted in a charge of close to $500 for a modest 1,600 square foot house with gas heating.  And the majority of it was billed at the higher “Step 2” rate.

The couple has contacted BC Hydro to have the overcharge corrected and quite rightly so.

The “smart meters” the province and BC Hydro are planning to bring in over the next few years will hopefully prevent overcharge errors like these from occurring by eliminating missed meter readings and making energy consumption “estimates” by BC Hydro unnecessary: Smart meters will deliver accurate meter readings directly to BC Hydro on a daily basis.

Smart meters will also help BC Hydro’s energy conservation efforts and allow for a “smart grid” that can detect problems with the electricity system quickly and efficiently. 

Something else smart meters will be able to do is help BC Hydro zero in on electricity theft and grow ops that reportedly cost BC Hydro and BC Hydro ratepayers millions of dollars every year.  That alone would go a long way toward paying for the smart meters.

So hats off to Bruce for not only spotting the inadvertent “Step 2” overcharge on his hydro bill but for also stepping forward and alerting the public to check their hydro bills carefully to make sure they haven’t been charged for electricity they never consumed.

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