Just some stuff that is floating about my head, right now, figured I would put it out there. Not likely it will answer my questions, but...just can't keep it to myself.
So.....when did estimations become legal, when it comes to billing? Was it the same time as billing to bill became legal? Who the F*ck sat down and decided utilities did not have to provide the same service as every other business. They ARE business, right? They profit from selling a commodity, one that most folks have come to rely on.
See, I have been through this with Hydro, more than once, and I know I will be screeching next bill, when we go through the estimation farce.(or maybe not..we have "Smart meters", right?) Yesterday I got my Gas bill. Inside was a lovely little notice informing me that because I had to dish out an incredible amount to stay warm the past winter, I , along with the other customers used up too much natural gas. Today, when the whole province is hearing how we must allow pipelines to be placed all about, and how we have such an abundance of this natural resource, a single hard winter has apparently caused a shortage of supply. Who the F*ck came up with this line of BS? This is a prime example of talking out both side of your mouth. Oh, we have lots of it...ooops, no we don't..we have to charge more because we are suddenly running out of it...Helllloooooo...Guess this is an excellent way for the rate payers to chip in to help get these pipelines built. I know for a fact, there is a whole whack of that stuff all over the place, and it is flowing pretty darn quickly to areas all over the province, cheaper than it is to the place it is coming from, and, as well, a place that spends a ton more to keep warm in those "hard" winters.
So, I get the notice....this increase has been placed in the commodity charge. In that charge, I get the head shaking "mid-stream" part of the bill..Now it states some customers may not get charged this mid-stream..hummmmm..who are those folks? See, we pay $1.219 a Gj for this mid-stream, because our provider claims they have to pay someone else to store, transport and help manage their commodity. Along with this fee, is the actual cost of the fuel I used. Now....this increase..well it apparently happened on April 1st. My bill is from March 11th to April 9th...so, I am good enough mathematically to understand, I have 9 days with an increase of $1.368 a GJ. Now, in the real world, a company would come out, and read the meter on the last day of March..right...old price until that time. Ahhhh...but not utilities...they are allowed to estimate. Somehow they can figure out what I used up until the price change date, and then they can bill me the increase on the amount they pull out of the air for the 9 days.
Their calculations have me using 14.4 Gjs for 21 days and....5.5 Gjs for 9 days. Oh, you may say, this sounds pretty fair. But...what if those 9 days were much warmer than the 21 previous days? What if we were not home for part of that time? How the F*ck do those sitting in an office calculate estimates?I have to accept this calculation. Why do I have to accept, well...I need to keep warm, just in case I use up a whole whack load of gas next Hard winter. Funny, winter was hard, but it wasn't the hardest one we had. Oh, that's right, other parts of the province had a harder time than usual..those parts that get their delivery cheaper than I do!! Now, like everything else, insurance, hydro, groceries...suddenly I have to pay more because of some sorry sad a$$ excuse!!Where does this gas come from? Well, hell, it's right up the hill..just like the freaking Hydro electricity.
I live in a community that has all the utilities just miles away from my house. There is not a single soul in this town that reads any old meters..those people drive here from elsewhere. I suppose if I had been thinking...I could have taken a timed picture of my meter on March 31st, and attempted to prove what I used at the old rate, that might have worked, I'll never know.
However, it is past time that things were done above board..want to up the rates, well, read the freaking meters, and use the extra money you are getting for the "cheapest, most abundant" fuel we have on the market, to pay for the reading.
If we don't have enough natural gas supply, why are we even considering selling it off to another country? Don't try to shaft someone who is always looking outside the box. Your little notice is a big lie, or Crusty had best stop her LNG deals, we need to save up our fuel for ourselves. I can't imagine how expensive this is going to be when we begin exporting it, and we run out with a "hard" winter!!!