Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Gouged on hydro bill

If Penticton council requires this gouging, perhaps this should become an election issue

A very informative letter from James and Nanene McGinnigle (Penticton Western News, Jan. 5, Fair electric pricing needed) regarding our exorbitant hydro costs.

Unfortunately, I cannot afford alternatives — other than freezing — to the high cost of hydro here. I live in an apartment style condo but, as James and Nanene realize, even if I lived in a home, I could not afford the wonderful improvements they were able to make due to my financial restrictions.

This excessive hydro cost, which is an unfair city tax grab, causes problems for those of us on the lower income scale. Heating, like food, is a necessity not a luxury. Some of us have to choose between eating or heating.

I had sticker shock times four when I saw my Penticton hydro bill. I have had the same size apartment in several other locations and paid an average of $50 every other month in hydro-in Penticton this is $90 each month. These hydro costs also (if included in rent) add to the costs of affordability. No wonder some become homeless.

I do not know if Penticton has always had its citizens pay this excessive amount for hydro, but in other places I have lived, BC Hydro was less than half of what we pay here. Once again, it appears those of us with low incomes are subsidizing those able to pay this ludicrous hydro cost.

If Penticton council requires this gouging to make their budget work, perhaps this should become an election issue. Maybe land developers and those with large homes should be higher taxed. Hydro is not a luxury, it is a necessity and morally should not be used as a city tax grab from those who can least afford it.

Sandy Hayes


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