One more month

Authority BC Hydro and Power Authority

Pal worked out a deal with a friend that allowed the friend to share Pal’s residence as long as the friend payed the monthly hydro charge, even though the hydro account was in Pal’s name. Pal’s friend ended up being less reliable than he’d hoped.

Pal found out after several months that his friend was not paying the hydro bill, which as a result had ballooned into a large outstanding balance that he couldn’t pay off right away. Pal was living on disability assistance income. BC Hydro issued a disconnection notice and were not willing to allow Pal to pay off the debt gradually through a repayment agreement because Pal had difficulty following through on such agreements in the past.

Pal informed BC Hydro that a relative who had passed away a year ago had left him some money, which he was due to receive in the middle of the following month. He told BC Hydro that he would be able to pay off the full amount outstanding, if they could delay disconnecting his power for a month. However, BC Hydro was unwilling to do so.

We investigated whether BC Hydro had followed a reasonable procedure in deciding not to delay taking enforcement action. In response to our investigation, BC Hydro reviewed Pal’s situation. They indicated that while he didn’t have sufficient credit history for them to offer him a repayment agreement, they had no reason to believe he wouldn’t receive the inheritance that he claimed to be due which would allow him to repay the full outstanding balance. BC Hydro agreed to delay taking enforcement action until the end of the following month.

Category Housing and Property
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2013
Location The Lower Mainland