Friday, May 25, 2012

Rich Coleman and Christy Clark are living together, hypothetically, just to prove that a family of five can reduce their $200 in Utility bills in Vancouver to $140

Update at the Bottom regarding "Dear Readers" contributions.....

Last year, BC NDP MLA  Jagrup Brar temporarily gave up his home, and salary, and lived on $610 welfare for one month. LINK  UPDATED 2023-12-26

What the BBC is suggesting here, is that two respected MLAs, Richard Coleman and Christy Clark, temporarily give up their residences, and salaries, and live in a 1946 home in Vancouver, for one month with their average Energy bills (electricity  and Natural Gas) totaling no more than $200.   I suppose the real challenge will be to find a home who's utility bills are really $200 in Vancouver, because that's the problem that the BBC is finding where the current Energy Minister and a previous energy minister says that the energy bills (electricity) have traditionally been less than $100!   Throw in the Natural Gas and the total is no more than $200!  Again, that last number is one that Energy Minister and BC Hydro have been using to sell their customers on how to make their Energy bills seem to almost disappear, almost by sleight of hand.

Back in 2010, the then Energy Minister, Steven Thomson said:

 An average residential electricity bill is about $71 per month. BC Hydro is currently forecasting an average monthly bill increase of about $7 each year for each of the next three years. However, these rate increases are only estimates and are subject to further BC Hydro review and approval by the BCUC.

Along comes Rich Coleman as Energy Minister and by 2012 he jumps on an ambitious program using as an example a home  built in 1946, needing sealing (windows and doors), retrofitting (insulation), is costing $200 per month, but then again who's to say that the numbers Thomson and Coleman are using is an average of only well sealed/insulated homes or all of the of the homes across the province of British Columbia.

For example the BBC home is a ten year old house, 2,600 square feet,  insulated to the hilt, sealed as well, 2 X 6 walls which means MORE insulation to insulate the home therefore lower energy bills.... and for owners of homes where the property building lot is only 33' Wide, their walls are a mere 2 X 4 thick construction.  You'd think the BC Liberal Government would modify the BC Building code to make changes that would ensure that the least amount of energy is lost.

The BBC home Energy costs are rounded up thusly to the nearest whole dollar:

BC Hydro $280 per month .... Fortis: $130, in other words $410 per month ..... just where does Coleman and BC Hydro get their numbers from........ if the 1946 home, 66 years old, in Vancouver, needs a lot of work done on it now..... LOL... they'd be better off not spending a dime to upgrade!   Wear sweaters in the winter!

Its been shown, with the recent implementation of Smart Meters, that there are some mighty high metering going on, and those bills are  no where near the hypothetical $200 per month that the BC Liberals speak frequently of. 

Energy Minister Coleman's Pays-BC shows how "he and she" can have their "cake and eat" it too scenario .... where a hypothetical Vancouver family, struggling with a monthly payment of $200 for the energy being supplied to their home....??????

Where did that number come from?

Does it matter?


"Pay As You Save-BC program"

"Pays-BC Utility Program"

"The key to unlocking consumer savings"


Here's a page from the above link, we have to tell you though its a Fairy tale book, written by BC Hydro to assist "Rich and Christy" in their Families First purchased home, from just last year: (Note: a 1946 home is worth $1,299,000, purchased with 2012 Dollars)

To begin the Fairy Tale adventure:

John Rich and Susan Christy and their three children (Huey, Duey and Luigi) live in a home built in 1946 with an existing Natural Gas furnace, Electric hot water heating, limited insulation and draughty single pane windows. On top of their mortgage payments, Rich and Christy pay about $200 in energy bills every month. They are concerned about having a comfortable home to live in, and rising energy costs, as well as conserving energy to protect the environment. However, they don’t have the spare savings, or other sources of credit, to spend on major renovations or home upgrades. Also, with their growing children, Rich and Christy anticipate needing to move to a larger home within the next five years.

Looking for an understanding of the potential costs and benefits of various options for improving their home, family comfort and health – without “breaking the bank” – Christy finds a local provider of home energy assessments after seeing a news article in the local paper. The energy assessment costs $150 (which may be paid for through PAYSBC when  Rich and Christy decide to participate in the program).

Their independent assessor, Wendy El Gordo of IPP Fame, uses the established EnerGuide Rating System to determine the energy efficiency performance of their home, including an EnerGuide rating, and recommendations for energy retrofits that will reduce energy consumption. Reviewing the assessment report with Rich and Christy, El Gordo shows them where air is leaking out through their attic, basement, walls and around doors and windows – and notes that their water heater will soon fail or need to be replaced. The energy assessment report shows, based on modeled energy consumption of the current house and the same house after proposed upgrades, that if Rich and Christy improve their insulation, replace their windows and upgrade their water heater, they can save an estimated $60 per month on their energy bills.  (Editor Note:  $140 Total to be paid each month instead of $200.)

Rich and Christy decide to proceed with the renovations and arrange for a contractor approved by their utility to complete the work – with no up-front cost....... cont'd

Keep in mind here, the scenario offered above.... Rich and Christy are only going to stay in the house for FIVE YEARS and then MOVE OUT, and UP.

Is this is where Energies Ministers Steven Thomson and Rich Coleman delved into for appropriate numbers that would match their spiel to the public? :

March 6, 2012

BC Hydro's rates are among the lowest in North America

Snip.....If you're a residential customer consuming about 1,000 kWh/month, your monthly bill is about $82 — or 8 cents per kWh — which is fourth lowest among the utilities surveyed...... Snip Rates comparison chart

Back to Rich and Christy Living together temporarily, hypothetically.

First they have to find a home that consumes 1,000 kW.h/month, was built in 1946 and is in Vancouver.

BC Hydro rates update, including a look at recent BCUC decision
Each year, BC Hydro is part of a survey that compares BC Hydro's rates with those in 21 other jurisdictions in North America. The results are included in the Electricity Rate Comparison Annual Report, which compares BC Hydro's monthly bills and average prices for residential, commercial and industrial customers against other utilities.
If you're a residential customer consuming about 1,000 kWh/month, your monthly bill is about $82 — or 8 cents per kWh — which is fourth lowest among the utilities surveyed.
Hydro-Quebec tops the list at $68 for 1,000 kWh/month, while 15 of the 25 jurisdictions on the list are at $100 or more. Two — Consolidated Edison in New York, and Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco — are over $200.
BC Hydro's rates for all customer segments continue to remain within the top 25 per cent of utilities for 2011/12. For the most part, the five jurisdictions that consistently rank the most favourably in the report are BC Hydro, Hydro-Quebec, Manitoba Power, Pacific Power and Light (Portland, Oregon) and Seattle City Light. View the comparison chart above or see the full, detailed Rates Comparison Report [PDF, 485 Kb]

The Rates Comparison Report  link above, check out page 14 of 17, it will look like this:

 Table 9 BC Hydro Monthly Bills Summary

Vancouver, BC April 1, 2007 1 April 1, 2008 2 April 1, 2009 3 April 1, 2010 4 May 1, 2011


625 kWh 42.97 45.09 41.19 45.00 47.24
750 kWh 50.81 53.32 50.44 55.11 58.06
1,000 kWh 66.49 69.78 71.32 77.93 $82.71
2,000 kWh 129 136 155 169 181
3,000 kWh 192 201 238 261 $280

Highlighted in Blue above is 1,000 kW.H for 2011

Highlighted in Red above is 3,000 kW.H for 2011


To be absolutely fair here:

The BBC is a typical home on the North Shore, in other words the BBC $280 number from above, is calculated like this:

STEP 1 = 1398 kW.h @ $0.06670   $ 93.25

STEP 2 = 1592 kW.h @ $0.09620   $153.15

Plus Rate Rider at 2.5%

Regional transit levy: 63 days @ $0.06240/day
*HST BC HST Residential Energy Credit Total $279.41

Go for it Rich, Cristy, BC Hydro, tell us another tale about saving money when you can't even do it yourselves.


Rate Rider (explained in Google) and via BC NDP

The rate rider is applied to the total of all charges, before taxes and levies. Amounts received from the rate rider will be used only to pay down BC Hydro's deferral accounts. BC Hydro uses these accounts to record unexpected costs and prevent sudden rate fluctuations that could result, for example, from higher-than-forecast market prices for energy.


Dear readers,

Would you like to share the basic information of your Combined, or separate totals of your energy bills?

Would you also like to mention where in British Columbia, or nearby, that you live?

And for those who live near Prince George, and burn wood to heat your home, would you like to contribute your information as well?   Would you also mention your lighting system..... kerosene  perhaps
 In this day and age of owning a home, a Secondary suite is a must.  For owners like John and Susan and/or   "Richard and Christy" with three children, living in a 1946 home in Metro Vancouver, its probably already been converted to having a secondary suite, legal or illegal.

Legal means that there is a firewall between the two; Legal means that the Smoke alarms are Hard Wired together to ensure that if a fire does break out in one, the other suite won't be sleeping through it!;  Legal means two cans of garbage picked up for each entity; Legal means Landlord (property owner) paying an increased rate for Water, Sewer and Garbage;  Legal means, in most instances, the Owner lives upstairs;  Legal means the owner gets to write off expenses and to declare the income.   Illegal means each cheque written by the tenant to the Landlord, isn't declared as income by the write offs, but they do get to go to Hawaii once a year; they do get to top up their RRSP by using the suite rent to pay for groceries; etc.......

Legal Tenant means you set your own thermostat and not dependent on whether the "guy" upstairs is warm enough.

Municipalities do NOT actively seek out illegal secondary suites unless there are complaints laid by nearby residences.

Word of warning to "Richard" and "Christy", if ever you decide to run for Office... make sure your track record on your basement suites have been above board, at all times!


Here's a Screen Shot of part of Page 14, Residential Monthly Bills Summary

e.a.f. is using approximately 1,000 kW.H for 2011
BBC is using 3,000 kW.H for 2012
Richard and Christy were using approximately 1,400 kW.H for 2011
Richard and Christy's uprgrade 1,200 kW.H for 2012
North Shore News example 600 kW.H for 2012
Basic energy cost info contributed by Dear Readers:

Update  May 25, 2012

e.a.f. Home

1  Electrically heated
1200 sq. ft.
3  line dry laundry in the summer & in winter one out of 3 loads

4  use the dishwasher twice a wk
5  double windows
    Note:  keep 2 rooms which aren't used at 16; the others at 20
6  located north of Parksville
    Note: Lower rate because of a secondary backup heating system
7  Cost per month $88 yr round.

BBC Home

1  Primary, forced air furnace, Natural Gas
1  Secondary suite electric baseboard
1  Both have Gas fireplaces
1  Hot Water Tanks  Natural Gas
2600 sq. ft.
3  Primary, laundry twice a week
3  Secondary, laundry seems like daily.... they have children
4  Secondary, Dishwasher, three times a week
5  Double windows
6  North Vancouver
7  Cost per month $410 yr round 
8  Cost split between Primary and Secondary 

Rich and Christy's home

1  Forced air Furnace
1  Electric Hot Water Tank
2156 sq. ft.
3  Laundry, five times a week
4  Dishwasher, five times a week

5  Single windows
6  Vancouver (East) near Main Street
7   $200 per month yr. round 

Rich and Christy's home  after renovation

1  Forced air Furnace
1  Natural Gas Hot Water Tank
2156 sq. ft.
3  Laundry, five times a week
4  Dishwasher, five times a week
5  Double pane windows
6  Vancouver (East) near Main Street
7   $140 per month yr. round

From the North Shore News, Letters section, May 27, 2012,
 there is a retired BC Utilities Commission Secretary who is complaining about the Smart Meter

on-line Letter to the Editor NOT PUBLISHED yet, its Saturday

1 ?
2 4000 sq. ft.
3 ?
4 ?
5 ?
6  West Vancouver, north of Park Royal
$39 for electricity ONLY.... no mention of Natural Gas.


2 Examples From CTV British Columbia

Richmond Apartment

$93 before his smart meter was set up

to $172

and then $241 on his most recent bill.

 Susan...... One Bedroom Condo

was $61 monthly before the Smart Meter

after the Smart Meter was installed... $745


BC Hydro Conservation Tips (below) & Electricity Rates (see page 2 ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
*from as of April 12, 2011. Conservation tip ... **Estimated net cost after incentives ... Currently, an average residential electricity bill is about $71 per month [$852/year – SEE NOTE BELOW]. BC Hydro is ... A few examples: ...

Bottom of the document is this.................

NOTE: Average residential Hydro bill for 2011:

is about $71/mth ($852/year) for about 12,100 kWh/year

(8100 kWh @ $.0627 = $507.87; 4000 kWh @ $.0878 = $351.20,
total $859 for 12,100 kWh per year

($71.58 for 1008 kWh/mth, plus 12% HST)


Anonymous said...

When the BC NDP were in power the Rate Rider was designed to cover fluctuations in rates. Since the BC Liberals have been in power they've implemented 23 more Deferral Accounts but only to bail the BC Liberals out of their UN-BALANCED BUDGETS.

The Deferral Account are $2.5 billion in debt and climbing, quickly.

The quicker we get rid of the BC Liberals the better the Province will be.... if they haven't sealed our children's Children's future fate as well.

gfbb said...

Thanks for all your detailed accounting here. Hearing Coleman this AM on CKNW and the memorized spin he repeats is quite disgusting. Shutting out the BCUC is completely out of bounds, but then again, the Liberals know no bounds whatsoever. Will rejoice immensely if Coleman looses his (fat) seat in 2013!

e.a.f. said...

Rich & Christie & children living together. I want a reality show on that one. It might make money for the province.

As to hydro rates, my home is electrically heated, 1 person, 1200 sq. ft., line dry laundry in the summer & in winter one out of 3 loads, use the dishwasher twice a wk, double windows, keep 2 rooms which aren't used at 16 & the others at 20; located north of parksville, & have the lower rate because I have a secondary backup heating system. Cost per month $88 yr round.

Now I don't care where the electrical rates are compared to in other areas of the world. I live in B.C. We built dams so we would have electricity which could be used at a reasonable rate by citizens.

The lieberals took a good corp. & destroyed it for their own benefit. Now they want us, the taxpayers of B.C., to fix it by paying more for electrcity. Not on!

Get rid of the political appointees at Hydro, turn it back to be run by professionals, who know what they are doing. Carry out an investigation into all the contracts B.C. Hydro signed with friends of campbell & the lieberals. If any illegality can be proven, get out of the contract or just pull a WAC Bennet & exporiate the companies.