Sharing Daily Discoveries About Personal Finance And Business Topics

Two Tier Customer Billing Systems Based On Usage

I was at a gathering today where the topic was about power consumption conducted by the president and CEO of BC Hydro, which is the power company here. For the most part the presentation was as expected and the theme seemed like it was revolving around a “use less power” type of theme. They even had some employees yelling and hollering on cue similar to those “power smart” commercials you see on TV here.

One thing that caught my attention in the speech was the intention of introducing a two tier billing system when it comes to the electricity bill. While the plan needs to be approved, from what I gathered its hope was that people who use more electricity than average will be billed a higher usage rate compared to those who use less. Basically, it’s almost like if you make more long distance calls than average your per minute rate will be higher than others. The hope was to encourage people to use less electricity.

While I think the notion is a noble one, this type of two tier system doesn’t seem fair when you look at it I’d say. Isn’t it usually true too where the more you buy/use the cheaper it gets? Granted there are things like supply and demand, but even in those cases everyone is billed the same.

I think personally if people were given a convenient way to see how much electricity they were using in real time from a consumption and dollar point of view that would help more. Very similar to keeping records on how much you spend on things like say dining out. It just makes you self realize that maybe there are better ways to go at it.

There was one good tip though that one of the staff members was telling me about which can help you save money. It revolved around those cell phone chargers that most of us use and how many people leave them plugged in the wall even when there is no phone plugged in. They mentioned that a charger in that instance actually still draws out power and so you should unplug it from the wall when not in use. A little here and there adds up over time.

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