LETTERS: Disconnect at council

Having your electricity disconnected is a serious crisis to most families.

Having your electricity disconnected is a serious crisis to most families.

The city should make the effort to find out why people are unable to pay their bill. It could be due to bad planning, forgetfulness or more serious financial hardship. It could be someone who does not have benefits coverage, unlike city council who have just voted in favour of giving it to themselves and their families. This unfortunate person may have to make the difficult decision between necessary medications or heating. Or, it could be someone with a small budget living in an old, low rent home which is poorly insulated but it is all that they can afford.

These people do not deserve to be punished. In Canada, we like to think that we have a kinder, gentler society in which we make an effort to look after those less fortunate. What the city should do is to conduct a survey as to why some of us are unable to pay off our electricity bill.

This information could identify that some people could avoid a high electricity bill through simple coaching. For example, it could be that an elderly person does not understand how or is unable to turn down their thermostat at night which could be solved by replacing the old thermostat with a programmable one.

I am disappointed that council has not instructed the city electric utility to research reasons for disconnects. It might help council to give more thought regarding disconnect charges.

Bill Smith

Penticton