Woman sees 62 per cent jump in Hydro bill despite heat-friendly renos
A Repentigny woman says she’s seen her monthly Hydro-Quebec bills jump 62 per cent since 2010 — thanks to the installation of a new smart meter.
Audrey Seidel bought her current home in 2008, and two years later, began to take advantage of the province’s ÉcoRénov program, which offers refundable tax credits for home renovations. She spent tens of thousands of dollars insulating her attic, changing her windows and doors, and retiling her roof — renovations Seidel believed would end up saving money on electricity.
Instead, her annual electricity bill shot up from $147 in 2010 to $299 in 2014 — including a jump of more than $100 in the past year alone.
Seidel blames the smart meter, which was installed last winter, and which she never asked for. “I never accepted it,” Seidel says. “They forced it on me. They installed it on a day I wasn’t there.”
And when she started getting her larger-than-usual bills that winter, she phoned Hydro to ask why, and was told her hefty bills had to do with the harsher-than-normal winter.
“My habits at home haven’t changed,” Seidel says.
For the moment, she plans on swapping the smart meter for her old conventional meter, in the hopes of cutting her power costs — and adds she would join a class-action lawsuit that a Montreal lawyer is rumored to be starting.