Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hydro Rant

This week, I received my monthly statement from Hydro Quebec. They changed the format of the statement, and with the new format there is less information than was previously.

Notably absent from the new statement are two pieces of information that I consider important, and a third one that I consider less critical yet valuable for a lot of customers.

The missing items are:
  1. For customer like me who has the bi-energy counters, they no longer list consumption separately for the low-temperature and normal-temprature readings. To me this is an important information, as I like to keep track of how much electricity we used when temperatures were cold, and to see if we should be more careful.
  2. The rates for each kWh is no longer on the statement. This is always important to have the current rates on a statement, because the calculation are somtimes tricky (dayly rate, usage rate, low- vs normal-temprature rate). They will now provide this information only once a year.
  3. The total paid for electricity during the previous year, for each statement (which are every two months). Although this is not a critical information for me (since I track this anyway in a spreadsheet), it gives an at-a-glance summary of how much it costs for a year. I'm sure that for a lot of customers this is quite useful.

What is really annoying with this, is that it gives the impression that they don't want customers to know how much they are using. Furthermore, the statement came with their usual newsletter which said that the new statement contained all the information that the old one had!

I consider this situation unacceptable. I am currently preparing a complaint that I will send to Hydro Quebec, as well as the "Régie de l'énergie" (which regulate energy rates in Quebec) and "Office de protection du consommateur" (which protects customers from shady pratices).

Have you paid attention to your statements lately?

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