We need a Power Ranger

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - Alex Har­rold writes from West­port

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.