Golden residents slam surge in power usage after outage – Kelowna Capital News

In the week following a power outage that left most of Golden in the dark for more than 30 hours, some residents noticed an increase in their usual power usage after it was restored.

Joy Guyot, who has owned her home in Golden for five years, was the first to take to Facebook to say that last week she noticed the electricity usage in her home had almost doubled as a result of the power outage.

“My wife and I check usage almost daily because we’re very careful about how much energy we’re using,” she explained.

“We have a woodstove, we have propane, we don’t use electric heat, but in the last five days it’s been almost double what we usually use.”

She says that after posting her Facebook post, she heard other townspeople say they were experiencing a similar phenomenon.

A statement from BC Hydro explained that the increase in power consumption could be attributed to the fact that some appliances may need additional power to restore their temperature in order to operate efficiently.

“Golden customers may have noticed an increase in their usage immediately after the December 9-10 power outage, as their appliances and heating systems came back on and ran more often than usual to return to normal. temperature,” the statement read.

“We also know that during the winter months, heating costs can increase by up to 140%, leading to higher electricity bills. BC Hydro experiences the greatest demand for electricity on weeknights when British Columbians come home, turn up the heat, turn on the lights, do the laundry and cook dinner. Residential electricity can increase, on average, by 88% during the coldest and darkest winter months.

“If customers have noticed an increase in their electricity usage and want to learn more, we encourage them to call the contact center at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376).”

Guyot isn’t happy with the response, saying that during the outages she hooked her devices up to a generator, meaning they would have remained operational and not had a chance to cool down.

She says she called BC Hydro to complain and was told to have an electrician come to check her panel. In turn, when an electrician showed up, they found nothing wrong with his meter. In order to fully check the meter, Guyot says she was told it would have to be sent back and she would be charged $185 if nothing wrong was found.

Guyot’s wife, Michelle Nagy-Deak, was told by BC Hydro that the meter was accurate and that the outage would have done nothing.

Guyot contacted the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC), an independent regulator of the British Columbia government, about the increased usage, but was instructed to take his complaints directly to BC Hydro and treat as the first point of contact.

“If your concerns are not resolved after receiving a response from a BC Hydro customer service supervisor, we invite you to get back to us and we will further assess whether your complaint is something we are in able to help you,” BC Hydro responded. Mediators.

“It completely annoys me, it’s not right, they can do whatever they want and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Guyot said.

“There’s no recourse even with the Commission, they’re just like dealing with them and coming to see us afterwards. I don’t want to wait for a bill, that’s why we monitor our energy usage, everyone I talk to who has had a billing dispute with BC Hydro has never gotten their money back.

Guyot says they will follow up with the electrician over the weekend after their meter restarts and will continue to monitor to see if their energy usage goes down.

From there, she will follow up with BC Hydro and the BCUC.

She encourages anyone affected by the outage to also monitor their usage and speak with BC Hydro if they have a similar issue.


Claire Palmier

Writer for the Etoile d’Or

BCHydroOkanagan

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