Electricity for the weekend

Authority BC Hydro and Power Authority

June called us because she did not know how she and her child would cope over the weekend with no power to her house. June explained that her power had been disconnected because she was behind in her BC Hydro payments. She said she had paid approximately $1,800 the week before, and another $100 the day before. Even though her account was now paid off, she said BC Hydro would not reinstate her power until the $100 cheque cleared the bank. BC Hydro estimated that it might take up to a week for it to clear. June did not think it was fair or reasonable that her family would have to wait another week for electricity. As well, only after BC Hydro received fax confirmation of the payment was June told there would also be a reconnection fee.

We investigated whether the delay in reconnecting June’s electricity was unreasonable. During our investigation we learned that the fastest way to make a payment to BC Hydro was to make the payment at a bank and then phone BC Hydro with the bank name, address and receipt number. BC Hydro can then call the bank and verify over the phone that the payment had cleared. Unfortunately, June had put her cheque in an outside drop box, which meant there was no way to speed up the process.

When we explained June’s circumstances, BC Hydro approved immediate reconnection of her power. Crews were slated to work until 7:00 p.m. that night. However if, for some reason, June’s power was not restored, we asked what she might do as she would have no way of contacting anyone at BC Hydro’s office until after the weekend. BC Hydro agreed to contact the field crew and we received confirmation that June’s power was restored later that day.

Category Housing and Property
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast