Terasen Gas and BC Hydro kill me with their billing.

Even though the inside postal workers are on strike, rest assured your bills will come. As did my bills yesterday, two of them: Terasen Gas and BC Hydro. One would think that one would get charged strictly for the amount of fuel or electricity used, but oh no. As most of you know, the bills contain a plethora of other charges that, in some cases, add up to more than the cost of the actual energy consumption.

Here’s my gas bill from Teresen.

Delivery Charges

Basic charge:                                                    11.13

Delivery( 4.5 GL at 2.728 per GL)                        12.28    = 23.41 ” *

So, after calling Terasen I am told that all customers are charged for the privilege of having gas go through the pipes to our homes- this is the basic charge. Even if you don’t ever use your gas during the summer, you are still charged for delivery because the gas is actually there in the pipe. Then, you are charged again when you actually have used the gas that is in the pipe, and this delivery charge is based on the amount you used. In my case, it totals 23.41.

What …a…joke.

Now we go to…

Commodity Charges

Midstream( 4.5 GJ at 1.326 per GJ)           5.97

Cost of Gas     ( 4.5 GJ at 7.536 per GJ)   33.91  = 39.88   ” *

Well, I can see where my actual consumption is, so what is this midstream? Apparently, this refers to the charges Terasen pays other companies who store, transport and  otherwise help Terasen  manage the gas they deliver to us. ( ?????? most companies call this the cost of doing business, but whatever)

Again. What…a…joke.

Then , we get to my favorite part:

Other Charges and Taxes

Carbon Tax ( 4.5 GJ at 0.4966 per GJ)              2.23*

Clean Energy Levy ( 0.49% of the ” amounts)   0.25

GST( 5% of * amounts)                                     3.28 =  5.76

Ah yes, that oh so wonderful Carbon Tax  of Gordon Campbells that is revenue neutral  IS in fact making money for the federal government because they are charging GST on it!!!! A tax on a tax- is that even legal?  Isn’t that like double dipping?

Tax us once , and then tax us again and hope we don’t notice it.

I couldn’t get an good answer as to why we are being charged the clean energy levy other than the woman I spoke to thought it goes towards developing clean energy sources. Another cash grab. Where are they?

All in all, the cost of gas that I actually used  was $33.91. The total of other charges was $35.14.

And they wonder why we feel like we getting gouged.

 

So, let me share with you my BC Hydro bill charges.

Basic charge : 2.33*

Usage charge : 38.06*

Rate Rider at 0.5%: 0.68*

Innovative Clean Energy Fund Levy at 0.4%: 0.55

Regional Transit Levy: 62 days @$0.06240/day: 3.87*

Then, because of the rate change, I get another slew of charges pro-rated for the remainder of the billing period.

The gist of this bill is this: we are getting taxed on top of the levies and fund and other charges we have on top of our ACTUAL consumed energy.

And please tell me this. Why is Translink even considering imposing another levy on us to make some money if we are already paying a regional transit levy on our bills?

If every customer in BC is paying that charge, Translink is making a killing, and we all have to pay it regardless of income level. Welfare recipients are paying it. And we are paying GST on top of that Transit levy, so the government is making moola on that as well.

It doesn’t seem to matter where or who or why, but I think we’ve already paid enough via all the crafty little charges they stick in here and there, including the taxes in our gas for the car. When the additional charges and taxes and levies mandated by the government are larger than the actual amounts of energy/fuel used, something’s wrong.

This year alone, we’ve seen  raises for ministers, raises for executives, fare increases, taxes and levies out the ying-yang – not to mention the horrific 2010 expenditures, and the ultimate slap in the face is that now,  we are getting charged a tax on a tax.

I’m tired of the little guy( or gal) having to take up the slack for the governments mismanagement and decisions. When was the last time the premier relied on transit- he has a government car! An expense account, government jets! When was the last time he had to choose between paying for his heating bill and buying better food? or paying rent? That IS where many British Columbians are financially right now, and these are the people feeling the brunt of government mismanagement and their ridiculous solutions- and it will be along winter for so many.

It’s time for the government to look at where THEY have to cut back on un-necessary spending and excess , instead of passing the buck on to the average Joe. I for one, have had enough.

I’m Laila Yuile, and this is how I see it.

31 thoughts on “Terasen Gas and BC Hydro kill me with their billing.

  1. “A tax on a tax- is that even legal?”

    Sure, not only legal, one might say its Proudly Canerdian. We pay GST on PST, gas taxes, all sorts of taxes and government fees (which are the same thing as taxes).
    Oh sure, in some places in this world there’d be (and has been) open revolt and riots in the streets over taxes on taxes.
    Hell, the Thirteen Colonies went to war with the superpower of the day over taxes.
    However, in canerduh, the sheeple have been far too well trained for that sort of thing, indeed, quite the opposite. Threaten to actually lower their taxes and they get suspicious and nervous for their endless entitlements.

    Like

  2. Amy Beller

    Way to go laila!

    Thanks so much, i never looked at my bill ever, I’m embaressed to say. I just pay them asap.

    I’m a single working mom of two and with no child support, every doller counts for me. FMEP is useless.

    I’m not paying this carbon tax on my bills anymore, and I’m not going to pay the gst for it as well.David above is right. We need to stop being sheep and say this is enough.

    I added up how much this will cost me every month, and it makes a difference to me. I’m not rich, and this could be going towards clothes, food and other things my children need.

    I say we all stop paying this portion of our Terasen Bill, and perhaps the Transit levy on Hydro as well. It certainly doesnt seem to be making any difference to their bottem line if they are going broke, and can still afford to pay for huge salaries for executives that dont even take the bus or skytrain. but then again, if i made that much, i wouldnt either.

    Anyways,thanks Laila , I’m telling everyone i know about this post.

    Like

  3. Hugh Mathers

    This is a fantastic example you’ve provided us with.

    I agree with Amy, and will be deducting the carbon tax from the portion that I currently pay on my bill.
    I urge others to do the same. If we all refuse, it will make a difference.

    Time to hit back in the same manner that they affect us.
    In the coffers.

    Great job. I would also like to thank you for that article on the sea to sky highway. I agree we need atoll on that, especially in light of how many of his buddies are profitting on the construction efforts.

    What Nonsense this Campbell shoves down our throat.

    Like

  4. Pete Riley

    I never really looked at my billing closely , until I read this, that is, and what a surprise!! With our 5 bedroom home, we are paying far too much in these “extras”, considering how much I already pay in property taxes every year. I work hard for my money and these little things add up.

    You hit it on th head, Laila. If the government keeps using us as the never ending cash solution to their idiotic expenditures and mistakes, this province will end up like Ontario in short order.
    Thanks for pointing out this little nonsense about the Carbon Tax. I will email this to all of my friends, neighbours and colleagues, and please keep up the good work. Nice to hear your opinions without all the sugar coating or advertising suck ups adulterating it.

    Like

  5. lailayuile

    Thanks everyone, I just found it all so hard to swallow after really looking at it. I think it shows how much gets by us, and how much the government counts on our complacency.

    I am going to find out the real logistics of a challenge, but for now, I think not paying that portion is a start for all of us. Spread the word!

    Like

  6. salvatore bennedetto

    My house got 400 bucks in rebates, so now i have to figure out if a years worth of what you found comes to more or less than the 400 bucks. I dont like math and now i have to do some thanks to your eagle eye.

    Like

  7. Pete and Remmi

    Just wanted to say this is great post.

    We are embaressed to say we never looked at the nitty grittt either, but we added it up and we pay a lot with our older house. We dont have enough extra cash to make all the repairs on it, you know, to tighten up the air flow etc, but why the hell do we have to pay twice for delivery? Bulltweet, I say.

    Thanks for brings this to us.
    Pete and Remmi

    Like

  8. Michael Sanders

    Hey,

    Stopped by to read Daves post,and had to read this after seeing Pete\’s comment.

    Great job on this piece. We are nicked at every opportunity and frankly it makes me ill to see this double delivery charge that we are charged all summer long when we arent using heat. We only use a gas furnace, no appliances, so for a good 5 months nothing is consumed.

    Bah on Terasen.

    Like

  9. Tom Canning

    we had avacation in the U.K. over the Christmas period from 19th dec until 11th January 2009 –

    the house was empty – the temp turned down – NO gas Cokking – NO gas Fireplace – No gas furnace as out Heat pump sullplies enough heat to preven freezing of pipes etc

    or January bill was $81.77 HIGHER than lst year when we were hme and the tenp was 4dcgrees higher – but $81:77… so I fired aoof a rocket ..
    woman come on – who has obvu ious ly skipped afew grades at school – i hung up – and fired off another rocket – we shall see what transpires next…
    I can keep this going for a long time

    Like

  10. Norm and D

    Nov. staggered us. $515.00. Dec. we thought it was a joke, $535.00.
    But the 28 days we were billed for early January (after the cold spell) was $847.00.
    The place we lease is large but basically a one bdrm.
    I was told, when I queried the rationale of applying for a rate increase, that they got some things and the gov’t
    took away others. So, in this rep’s words there was no actual rate increase to speak of.
    We are still fuming, but cold…we turn it off ! BUNK…

    Like

  11. Eva

    I also discovered a few months back that we are paying GST on the carbon tax.! And they know about it, and Seniors ect have complained about it says a report by Maureen Bader, Director of Canadian Taxpayer federation.
    http://www.businessvi.ca/pages/accounting/

    I have been fighting with Terasen since July over being charged 311.00 for July, they took my meter, replaced it with a new one, (for no reason) and for 4 months I told them find the old meter, and prove to me that I used 19 GJ in JULY!!!! Long story short, I have to pay, even though there is NO way I used that, the year before I used 0.5 GJ. But wait I am miffed but read the story below, ( Olson on your side did the story on TV)
    Fighting the gas company
    Updated: Mon Mar. 09 2009 18:46:00

    ctvbc.ca

    Imagine opening a bill from the gas company and finding it’s for a ridiculously large amount — obviously an error. You’d think it would be easy to fix, right? Maybe not.
    snip

    “The bill was $11,834.55… for one month,” she says.

    It was such an obvious error, Elliot thought Terasen would quickly correct it. She was wrong. Terasen promised to look into it, but then she got a second bill — again for over $11,000.

    “I said it can’t be it can’t be right I can’t have an almost $12,000 bill,” she insisted to Terasen.

    The third bill Elliot received bumped her monthly equal payment plan to nearly $2,000 per month. None of it made sense. And Elliot started to worry

    snip
    But the gas company wasn’t backing down.

    “Her attitude was they were right and I was wrong. If they had to come out here and change my meter it was going to cost me to do that,” she explained.

    They finally did correct it, read the whole story here.

    http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090309/bc_olsen_hydro_090309/20090309?hub=BritishColumbiaConsumer

    I heard error’s are being made because meter reading has been contracted out, and a person gets 8 bucks a hour to read both terasen and BC hydro Meters on the same days.
    EM

    Like

  12. Becky

    I found out today that nobody has even been reading my meter for the last 6 months. They have just been guessing at how much gas we have been consuming, and then all of a sudden I get a wopper of a bill because, of course, they were guesstimating too low. What a crock!!! Now I will be doing my own meter readings every month, although I shouldn’t have to, for the amount they charge for delivery.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Hi Becky, I’ve emailed you to find out more details, but it sounds like they had you on their equal payment plan, where you pay the same amount every month based on your average consumption, and then once or twice a year they refund you , or bill you for the difference- was that the issue? What were you told on the phone when you called? I’m curious to find out more because of all the complaints I’ve heard of.

      Like

  13. Ron VW

    You hit the nail on the head. I would hate to see where the tax on the tax is being spent! I understand that Terasen is looking for a rate hike right now for users that are on the variable rate plan. Do you know if that is a better way to go. I find Tersasen customer service dept to be at the very least arrogant.

    Like

  14. Laila

    Ron, I’ve always stayed with Terasen rather than an independant seller and choose to pay my bills based on usage rather than a fixed rate all year. I find that the amount I use doesnt warrent the difference.

    Personally, I think a variable rate can be an advantage if gas prices go down. Many people who went with the independent sellers were locked into prices that were far higher than Terasens rate when gas went down. The disadvantage is that when rates go up, you don;t have the luxery of a locked in rate. I hate dealing with Terasen as well, but I would still choose them over another company I’ve never heard of.

    Like

  15. Ron C

    I totally agree with you Laila, it’s just another way of the rich getting richer , Terasen and it’s board members make huge salaries and just give themselves huge increases when inflation goes up so they never get affected by the increases. same as with the Government officials . This is just another way of them controling the lower and middle class , we will never have an opportunity to get rich unless we win the Lottery. all the Tax breaks are for the rich , and they all just take care of themselves, this has been going on since the dark ages.
    Remember this.
    1% of the people on the planet own 40% of it.
    36000 kids die each of starvation, and curable diseases.
    50% of the people on the planet make less then 2$ a day.
    and we sit here and accept this day in and day out.

    Like

  16. Gord

    Yes it is unbelievable when you get your gas bill. You have a basic charge, delivery charge, commodity charges, franchise fee, the new carbon tax, clean energy levy, gst, and not to forget the added HST when it comes into effect. Close to half of the gas useage is fees and levies. We need a revolt.

    Like

  17. Anna

    Campbell, went to Terasen Gas, for just one reason, to squeeze all the tax money he could get, from the citizens of BC. Show me one thing Campbell has done in this province, that didn’t benefit him personally. He is a proven criminal, and uses those tendencies in every deal he makes, if no money would be in his pocket, it doesn’t happen. You can see that statement, in the reason that, doing something for children living in poverty, would not be a personal benefit to him, so that is ignored, as well the minimum wage, won’t be increased, that also doesn’t benefit him personally, either. The asinine tax of the HST on citizens, who have lost their jobs, their homes, and every thing they had, are going to be homeless. And Harper, is a snake in the grass, to bribe Campbell to force the HST through, regardless of the fact, we can’t pay a tax like that. There are no logistics in, forcing people who are out of work, low income families and seniors to pay for the corruption of governing officials. And Campbell, is the most corrupt, evil, despised premier, that has ever been in Canadian history. Terasen Gas, is just a drop in the rain barrel, to what the HST is going to do to the tax payers. They used to call it extortion, and now our government has made it legal.

    Like

  18. Joseph

    Terasen gas is a complete rip off. We just moved out of our gas heated home halfway thru the equal pymt plan and got a bill for over $400 in “reconciliation” fees. We moved out before the term was up and somehow, they figure we used $400 worth more gas than we did the year before! Bull****! We are in the market for a new home and we are basing the decision on whether the house is on gas or not. Never again! regardless of what anybody thinks, oil, baseboards and an efficient pellet stove are better options any day.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Wow, that seems a bit… off !! I would love to see that bill Joseph! The cost of gas and electricity is making life prohibitive for many families in the low to middle income bracket. I hate to see what happens when winter comes this year. It will come ” Heat or eat” for far more families than I care to think about!

      Like

  19. sumwoman

    Hey Laila,

    I got around to reading my gas bill for November 2010. I was shocked! My bill for Nov 2010 was almost triple the amount for October 2010. But I had not turned on the heat or used anymore gas then the previous month. I am being charged based on last year’s (2009) usage.

    Like

  20. well…I can home to a tag on my door that I had been cut off by Terasen, then realizing I was short 20 bucks two months in a row because I paid 200 a month in the middle of summer, thinking that was enough online. No, they cut me off, I had to pay a weekend connection fee which is higher…and wait…the clincher…after 9 years of owning my home, and them being my provider…they wated a 600 dollar deposit because I was a firefly customer (such a terrible risk, and nothing outstanding by the way)…tried contacting my MLA, and the Utilites commision, but all are in the pockets of Teresen…is it fair…hell no…will it end…not if enought people don’t show outrage. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was in the middle of winter and both of my kids had the flu…they just don’t care.

    Like

  21. Andrej

    Amen sister! I thought I was the only one feeling like a milked cow since I moved to BC. Everywhere I go it’s like … “soda for free!” … “great!” … “here you go $5 handling,fees and taxes”… I didn’t understand how you people can take all these BS taxes, fees, charges.
    “Property Tax”!?! biggest scam of them all. Paying for something you own! I own a $0.5 mil property back in Europe and my property tax for 2010 was $35. But I guess you guys just grew up with being taxed for nothing but someone has to say no at some point.

    A.

    PS: BTW thanks to Gordie not only the Carbon Tax was added to our bills Terassen Gas was owned by US investors so all these bills were flowing into the US. This would be ok with competitive market but can you even go with other gas company in BC?

    Like

  22. D

    Jan 2015
    As a frugal user….my Terasen cost of gas was $49
    the cost of getting me that gas was $110
    enough said…
    I ask customer service “if I used 0 gas it would still cost me?”
    answer was yes
    hmmm my math skills taught me differently
    Land of free we are not
    my raise at work over 4 years 0 0 0 2.5%
    doesn’t add up to all the increases to live
    so middle class is on the way out of our so called great country to live
    I am basically working for the government
    got to get outta here
    death not an option…….costs to much

    Like

  23. Curt

    In mining news Feb 8:

    Imperial owns 50% of the Huckleberry Mines Ltd. (HML); a consortium of Japanese companies owns the balance. Imperial also owns the Mount Polley and Red Chris mines.
    In an attempt to prevent more mine closures in B.C., ——– the B.C. government, through BC Hydro, ———–has offered to ——– defer up to 75% of the electricity bills for B.C. mines for up to two years.

    In a press release, Imperial said it will consider that offer, and characterized the mine’s closure as temporary.

    So much for the average Joe/Jane struggling from day to day. So much for the senior on a fixed income with a $21/yr raise if they’re lucky. So much for persons with disabilities on a fixed income. So much for those who have lost their jobs and who may be and not being able to pay the bills, so much …………… Yeah, Christy, your are most definitely a “Families First” government. May 2017 can’t come fast enough.

    Like

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