Just as the snow melts and I dream of the cottage emerging from hibernation, the bills arrive from Hydro One with the proof that it sells the most expensive electricity in Canada.
I scanned the bills for the cottage and the humble bunkie with amazement at the gall of the provincial monstrosity. Its leaders know that they are under investigation for stupidity, mismanagement, cheating meters and arrogance towards ANY consumer complaint but they obviously have instructed their troops to keep on trucking when it comes to gouging the consumer.
I last wrote about "hydro's cheating meters" on Feb. 24. In it and columns over the years I have detailed with Hydro's figures the proof that there is something rotten in their kingdom.
When I bought my cottage in 1980, it came with the bunkie and its own meter left over from the days it was a second property and occupied by a drunk. So the Kings who sold to me bought it in self defense when the old man died.
I would remove this second service and run it all through the main cottage, but Hydro and the local electricians have a cabal that makes it so expensive, time consuming and bureaucratic to do such a simple chore, it is frustrating but still easier just to pay the second bill after wondering at how wonky the "smart" meter got this time.
Faithful readers will recall that several years ago, when because of illness we didn't use the bunkie at all, its bills were several times higher than the main cottage. Hydro didn't even bother to dream up an excuse because you can only match such silliness with blank-faced stupidity.
Since Dec. 10, 2012, I have paid $393.47 for the 122.25 kWh used in the bunkie, which is nice and has a huge deck but without water is mainly a sleeping and sitting retreat. Each kWh cost $3.22.
For the main cottage, I have paid $768.31 for 2019.47 kWh. So each kWh cost .38 cents.
Yet Hydro One says the rate for residential seasonal, the service type classification for my cottage, is 7.2 cents per kWh rising to 12.9 cents at peak times.
The bunkie now falls under that rate since an old much reduced classification for such minimal use buildings was scrapped a few years ago because Hydro wasn't making enough money. There are three-month periods when there is no electricity consumed but I pay $73.20 for delivery, .75 cents for regulatory charges and $9.61 in HST.
And that charge, of course, has just gone up. It's only gone up 1.4% according to Ontario Hydro but when I read the propaganda of it and Toronto Hydro, I don't believe a claim or a figure.
After all, the proof of this pudding of figures is in the paying. And in the last 16 months, power at peak periods to my bunkie has cost 25 times that Hydro figure. Even if you add the bill for the bunkie used at most a week a year to the charge for the cottage, you have a rate more than four times the figure stated in the propaganda.
Even when you figure in the huge margin of error when you deal with government accountants, that's still a criminal exaggeration.
You know the line about how many bureaucrats it takes to change a light bulb. Obviously with Hydro One, it's far too many, considering its expenses.
The cottage consumer just can't win. Hydro One has trouble keeping the power on. And when they do, they overcharge. And when we turn the power off, they overcharge again.