Add-on fees true culprit of high energy prices

Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:01 Letter to the Editor Lethbridge Herald

Recently MLA Weadick was quoted in The Herald, “heralding” the energy review committee. The thrust of this committee was to review pricing in an attempt to “stabilize” the price of electricity during winter months where the rate may fluctuate between eight to 15 cents a kilowatt hour.  While in itself at first blush it is a 90 per cent increase in power with no contract, in comparison to the myriad of other charges that appear on the bill, the cost of electricity and gas is small potatoes.

Natural gas on my last bill through Enmax with no contract was $2.180 per gigajoule. While a fixed price for both would provide the government with the “look, we are doing something” the real issue isn’t the price of electricity or natural gas in the richest province in the country. To my knowledge the committee is NOT addressing is the complete usurious administration, delivery, distribution, fixed charges, municipal franchise fees, transmission adjustment rider, AESO DTS rider, most of which to the average consumer, bring a glazed over deer-in-the-headlights look.  An example of the utter fleecing of the customer by the providers, provincial and municipal governments jumped off the pages of my latest energy bill. The period is from April 26 to May 24. First I have a contract with Enmax at eight cents a kwh. Cost of the electricity used: $51.92. Add in administration, delivery, distribution, AESO DTS rider transmission charge, Local Access Fee and the total jumps to $105.37. Really? Here is where it gets really ghoulish, natural gas. My energy charge for this period was $5.94. Add in administration, transaction, delivery charges, Atco Fixed Charged, Atco Variable charge, municipal franchise fee, transmission service charge rider and my pathetic $6 use of natural gas cost me $41.65.

Here is a link that clearly shows that the “fox is in the henhouse” on this committee,

Don’t expect any level of government, provincial or municipal, any time soon to tackle the fees issue as this is one cash cow that enables them to pay for all those things that make the majority of us scratch our head, such as paying for committees that do not meet or steel balls on a street corner. Mooo, yooooo da cash cow. Go ahead governments, surprise us.

George McCrea Lethbridge

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