We need a Power Ranger
Have you ever watched Judge Judy on television? If you have, you would’ve taken note of her noholds barred, tough-as-nails persona with little patience for ridiculous behaviour and things that just don’t make sense. In fact, she’s very fond of using the phrase, “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.”
While I identify with her expedient manner in dispatching with all kinds of nonsense, I can say for certain that Judge Judy never had to deal with a utility bill in Newfoundland and Labrador.
This has nothing to do with Muskrat Falls, at least not yet. I hold no hope that Muskrat Falls is ever going to solve the problem associated with a service provider who can charge pretty much what they want to and dazzle you with all kinds of confusing techno-babble to explain charges that otherwise defy explanation.
Personally, I would love to declare war on them, but seeing as they hold all the power ( pun intended), I am reluctant to do so for fear of losing the electricity I have come to depend on that allows me to dictate this column on a device whose energy to run it is provided by them.
This problem didn’t arise until we reached retirement age that permits us to spend more than a bil ling month at a time down south while the furnace is set at eight degrees Celsius during December, January and February.
A second mistake I appear to have made is to not let them know before I left home that we were going to power-down the house in order to save some money in elec- trical costs while we were gone. For some reason that escapes me entirely, and after talking to others in similar circumstances, we have learned that forewarning the Hydro folks of your impending departure for multiple billing months actually results in a modi f i ed a n d red u c e d b i l l that accounts for you having powered down the house.
Without forewarning them, the bil ls do not appear to change regardless of what you turn off before you leave.
I have applied my somewhat limited experience and intelligence to this issue with little success in trying to understand how a winter Hydro bill of nearly $500 that is incurred while we are at home with everything running can only be reduced by approximately $60 for the month after turning off the hot water tank, unplugging every television and appliance that has a light or a clock installed, setting the new, high-efficiency electric furnace to eight degrees Celsius and disconnecting anything associated with the computer and cable television that normally requires four blinking green lights to be on at all times.
If you have a dispute with the power company, you can’t ignore the payment without suffering the potential consequence of having your power disconnected. I can’t say i f h aving electri c ity has become something we need, considering that the advent of the commodity arose because of something we wanted.
That partially explains why I will not go to battle with them and use as my first line of defence the threat of not paying the bill. Without electricity, I will be forced to stay at home during the winter in order to cut blocks of ice out of the bay, and collect a supply of sawdust to go with the ice that helps keep frozen those foods I have been keeping frozen since the advent of electricity. This would benefit me in not experiencing the problem of travelling south, as I would be home in the winter paying the usual bill likely without question. The argument becomes circular to the point of suffering vertigo.
The only second line of defence I can come up with is to move off the island. I love this place. I chose to live here. I would like to stay. But if I make such a drastic move, I want you all to know that Hydro made me do it. It’s like trying to negotiate with a very hungry lion that doesn’t understand the concept of human logic and reason. Yeah, I said it. Hydro is a flesh-eating beast, and we’re always on the menu.
To say I do not trust their meter is an understatement. My complaints to the power company resulted in me completing a survey that provides them with information they can refer to to explain why I ’m using so much power when I’m not home. I have a good idea what Judge Judy’s response would be to that, but she’s never there when I need her.
When it comes to the Hydro bill, I need all the help I can get.