Opinion

Hydro trying to 'bully us into taking the new meters'

Dear editor,

Re: New digital hydro meters.

I am a retired senior, on a small pension, with two analog meters on the wall of my bedroom, right next to where I sleep.

I have chosen not to accept the new meters for the following reasons: No one can say with absolute certainty what the long-term effects from these meters will be; Hydro will not agree to indemnify us for fire or damage caused by the meters, and it is only a matter of time before someone figures out how to hack into the VHF signals put out by them.

I am a reasonable person and am willing to pay a nominal fee to have my meter read, but it does not have to be read on a bimonthly basis; instead, it could be read on a quarterly or triannual basis, with an interim charge in between, based on average monthly usage and adjusted at the time of reading (as is currently the case with us).

However, what Hydro is mandating as a supposed alternative, is unreasonable: radio off meter - $100 + $20/month; or keep old meter @ $35/month = $420/year x 60,000 residences = $25,200,000.

Instead of trying to work with us to resolve the situation in a fair and reasonable manner, they have chosen to try and bully us into taking the new meters.

Why do the meters need to be read on a bimonthly basis and if they are going to have to read the "signal off" meters at $20/month, why the exorbitant charge to read the old meters?

I wrote Minister of Energy Bill Bennett on Sept. 16 on this subject. No reply after five weeks. I was told they "couldn't find" (lost) the fax. Refaxed again at their request -- no reply as of this writing.

Hydro has indicated that they will look at the situation in the New Year. Why not now?

In the meantime, they have been sending out letters to us. The most recent, threatening to cut off our power if we do not make one of the "choices" by Dec. 1 and refuse to pay their exorbitant charge.

I urge all the residents affected by this, to stand together to fight Hydro's bullying and to not be swayed into taking the new meters by intimidation.

Keith G. Seguin,

Courtenay

 

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