Denis Caldecott retired to Honeymoon Bay from Chilliwack in 2011 after 44 years in the trucking industry.
“I bought this house and took possession on the 30th of September in 2011,” he said, matter-of-factly last Friday morning. “I’ve been here for four years and two months and I’ve been fighting with BC Hydro for that length of time.”
Caldecott has been trying to figure out why his rates are “right off the deep end” and have been since he purchased the home.
“I live downstairs in the bottom floor of my house and I’ve got electric heat in here but there’s no way these electric heat bills should have been high as what they’ve been. I’m pretty frugal with the power.”
So frugal, in fact that he shuts the breakers off — cuts the power to the entire house — when he goes out for the day.
On Thursday, Dec. 17 he finally found out what the problem has been with his billing.
“I found out after probably 36 to 40 phones to BC Hydro over the last four years, that they’ve had me on a commercial rate in my residential house,” he said.
What’s more, he said, the power company has been charging him for using electricity during periods in which he’s actually shut the main breaker in the house off. He can’t seem to get a straight answer as to why.
“These people would not address my problem. They’ve just left me out in left field here. I told them I’m fed up with this. I’m ready to tell Hydro to go to hell and they said, ‘That’s your choice.’ They don’t care. they just don’t care.”
By his own admission, Caldecott is a stubborn man.
“I’m dressed up like I’m living in an igloo here. The temperature in my house is six degrees Celsius.
“I refuse to pay these kind of hydro bills.”
He’s been keeping charts of what he’s experiencing and is eyeing a lawsuit sometime in the New Year.
He’s after a refund for the incorrect rate structure but that’s not all.
“I’m going after them for pain and suffering,” he said. “I’m going after them for what I’ve had to go through down here. Nobody in their right mind would live the way I’m living right now but I’m a stubborn guy. There’s just no way I’m going to put up with this kind of [expletive].”
Caldecott said the corporation needs to be exposed for what they’re doing to people. He said he’s not the only one battling the company.
“Because they’re a monopoly, they don’t give a rat’s ass. They don’t care. They won’t come out and see what’s going on. It’s your problem. How dare them. They need to be exposed.
Denis wants to spread awareness and let people know that it’s okay to speak up.
“People are like sheep going to slaughter. Nobody wants to raise any hell. There’s only a few of us out there that do it. I know there’s a lot of people in B.C. here who are going through hell with different issues with Hydro. They all hide. People are intimidated. I’m not.”
BC Hydro spokesman Ted Olynyk said he wasn’t familiar with Caldecott’s particular plight but did say he was willing to look into it. Given it’s the holiday season and many staffers are out of the office, he admitted a reply shouldn’t be expected until the New Year.