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We have been battling with Fortis for nine years over the size of electric bills leveled on us in our 5,500 sq ft Log Home. They were simply too high, about $1,500-$2,000 per month. No matter what we did to cut power consumption, use geothermal, LED lighting, even leave for a couple of months the bill remained constantly, steadily high. I asked for a number of audits and meter checks and was told that they were correct and the bill stands as is. Pay or freeze in winter.
Right after the building burned down (January 11th) we continued to receive large electric bills despite the building being gone. I uploaded a copy of my bill to my Facebook page, and since there had been quite a lot of news coverage about our house fire, a lot of people knew our house was gone. The copy of the bill went viral, and the next morning four news outlets interviewed me on TV, Radio and Newspapers. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fortis-bills-kelowna-resident-for-months-after-house-burned-down-1.3167458
The Fortis spokesperson’s comments are very misleading when he says that they could not get to the meter, perhaps in an attempt to convince people to deduce that there was no reading because there was no meter as a result of the fire. In fact, Fortis own billing records and response from their customer service person informed us that they put a new “Smart Meter” (one that transmits the readings to a computer obviating the need for a physical reading) on March 25. Despite the new meter having been installed, they used ‘estimates’ from that point forward. To reiterate, they never read the smart reader that they claimed they installed and now claim is not ‘accessible'”.
They were able to read the meter for the Jan-March billing because as you will see by this bill here, there is no word, “estimate”. Therefore, this is represented as an actual reading for those months:
You can see on the March to May bill, the meter was “exchanged” (according to the Fortis rep, for a ‘smart meter’) on March 25. Despite the new meter being installed, they are still estimating usage on May 19th:
Now, reconcile this with the Fortis Corporate spokesman saying that the reason we were charged nearly $2,000 for a house that is no longer there is because they “couldn’t access the meter” Watch the spokesperson explain:
Since this article has gone out, I have had so many people tell me about their unreasonable bills from Fortis. Stories where they move from one area covered by another utility to another similar sized home in a Fortis area and their bills doubled. I’ve had one person tell me that when she questioned the bill, the representative on the phone insinuated that she may have a grow-op on the property.
Me and especially my staff have been at the other end of Fortis’ pompous attitude of complete impunity. We are gathering our bills for the last fifteen years of owning real estate in this area, and are going to demand an accurate accounting of what we actually used. If they can’t prove what I use, I need that money back. Not in credit, but cash. It’s a reasonable thing to ask, right?
It’s reasonable for you to ask too. I’d contact Fortis customer service at 866-436-7847 and ask for a complete review of all of your energy bills in the past, and demand proof that you used the power. Send a copy of your inquiry to their customer service email at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are not satisfied, contact BC Premier, the Honorable Christy Clark at Christy.Clark.MLA@leg.bc.ca