Changes to the Electrical Utility Services Bylaw

about 1 year ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

What questions or feedback would you like to share about the proposed changes?

Consultation has concluded

  • kimrow over 1 year ago
    Statement: This proposed bylaw does not take into consideration that a business may just use the address for business purposes only and not actually "work" at the home. For example, contractors, roofers, tow truck drivers, just to name a few, don't "'work" at the address or make money from the address; but use the address for business correspondence. We already paid $10 more this year for business licenses. Stop taxing the small business owner.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented COP Community Engagement over 1 year ago
      Thanks so much for your feedback. It will be reviewed by staff and shared with Council as part of determining the next steps for the bylaw.
  • Sprocket over 1 year ago
    I agree 100% with the comments of kimrow.Small, home based businesses are important to Penticton and continually adding to their monthly costs through arbitrary changes to bylaws is ridiculous. Why should my family be faced with an increased electrical bill simply because I sit at a desk in my home to operate a business?You are intending to increase rates for homeowners who are honest enough to obtain business licenses for their home based business. Many of the Bed & Breakfasts, Vacation Rentals and Secondary Suites that you are concerned with do not even have a business license. Leave the small businesses with very minor demands on the electrical system alone or at the very least base the electrical increase on the percentage of home use claimed on income taxes, not on the entire home.
  • penandpapermamaservices over 1 year ago
    From the letter you sent out to home-based businesses, and its attachments, it seems quite clear that the previous policies that are being consolidated refer pretty much specifically to uses of residences as places which are also used as accommodation for paid guests (including especially “Bed and Breakfast Facilities” but also vacation rentals and other similar businesses) or for longer term rentals such as secondary suites and carriage homes. Is that right?If so, why would this notice be sent out to home-based businesses that don’t have any kind of business service like that? Did the City simply send out a copy to every home-based business?Many home-based businesses do not include “accommodations” … and indeed, some of them don’t even have customers come onto the premises—such as businesses that conduct their activities via computer/internet. Other businesses (mine included), have a limited number of clients coming in for limited times, and those activities (such as tutoring a few students in my home office which I already use most of the time for editing and writing—online activities which don’t require clients to attend) do not add any extra electrical load to the family’s normal electrical consumption. I am also expressing my concern that many small home-based businesses with small incomes will find an increase in electrical billing quite onerous. The City of Penticton is spending a lot of time and money advertising Penticton as a wonderful place for people to move to and work from home. The City prides itself on being a great place for entrepreneurs to set up businesses … and then turns around and adds extra costs for the businesses—which generally must then be added on to the cost to the client. I cannot understand how this proposed increase in electrical charges matches up with these other goals of the City.Also, to make an across-the-board increase for businesses of different sizes and purposes hardly seems fair, and will certainly discourage many of the smaller, lower-income ones from continuing to operate. Already, sometimes I earn less in a month than my business licence cost. Now you want to add to that load. Many small home-based businesses already exist in which the entrepreneurs simply don’t bother with a business licence because of the cost. Then when you add an extra load like this, I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens even more often. I believe in being a good citizen and supporting the City—but at the same time, I expect the City to support its citizens fairly.Another point: Many of us already have to pay a pretty high cost for heating as we do not have access in our housing complexes to alternatives such as natural gas, wood stoves, or solar panels—and thus we are forced to use electric heat. Some are already having to pay an extra amount if their cost rises above a certain level—though I understand that the provincial government feels this two-tiered system introduced by the previous government is not fair and it may be forcing that to be changed. I have managed to keep my heat bills to a lower level by hanging my laundry outdoors, keeping my heat to a minimal level by dressing warmly indoors, etc., using only cold water for laundry, taking short showers, and so on. The City of Penticton urges its residents to keep their electrical bills low—and then when we do, we are “rewarded” by the City (and Fortis) by being threatened by increased rates (on top of the usual annual increases).
  • Deborah Webb over 1 year ago
    The Rate Code 15 for home-based businesses for secondary suites and carriage homes is grossly unfair. Why should a secondary suite or a carriage home pay more than a duplex or a triplex or a strata unit or a townhouse or an apartment building with renters, when all are providing rental accommodations? Why should renters in a secondary suite or a carriage home be punished with higher electricity rates than renters in other dwelling units? And Rate 15 applies now to Owner- occupied category for the secondary suite and carriage houses but not to non-owner-occupied rentals in any of the housing in a duplex or a triplex or a strata unit or a townhouse or a secondary suite or a carriage house - that is discriminatory as well. As for a home based business such as a bookkeeper or a contractor using their home as the business address, that is also unfair, the amount of electricity is minimal, and the City should be encouraging clean businesses that permit someone to own a home! Business licensing is enough of a charge. Eliminate Rate 15, or start tracking all the rentals in a duplex or a triplex or a strata unit or a townhouse or an apartment building, whether owner-occupied or not, and nail them with Rate 15, too. The extra electricity used by a bed and breakfast is minimal so drop that one entirely from consideration.
  • John Clarke over 1 year ago
    A business license does not indicate how much extra electricity is consumed by that business at the residence. License is to comply with city by-laws. My business is conducted outside of my residence with no business visitors or any extra electrical requirement. Do not see why I should have to pay extra fees based on a business license instead of actual consumption.
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    • Admin Commented COP Community Engagement over 1 year ago
      Hi there, I posted the reply below and wanted to make sure you saw that it applies to your comment as well....I want to thank you for your feedback. This rate for home-based businesses has been in place since before 1977 but has not been uniformly applied. Through this review, we have an opportunity to see if it still makes sense in the current environment. Your comments are consistent with other feedback we have received and will be considered by staff and shared with Council as part of the review of the proposed bylaw. Updates will be provided here to keep you informed. Thanks again.
  • Avanti over 1 year ago
    I consider the proposed changes to the bylaw unreasonable, unfair and without justification as to why yet again governments are hitting up small businesses with taxes, fees and rate increases. I have a home business licence registered with the City of Penticton, so I have received the notice about the proposed rate changes. But my home based business is landscape and yard maintenance. There is no operations at the house....it all takes place at other residences and commercial sites in the city. There is also a registered secondary suite at the house, but it housed my mother. All of us are on fixed incomes and the small business is simply to make a little bit of extra cash to augment our income. To add insult to injury, the energy requirements for our house is 100% electricity (we like the idea of green energy), so the hit to our consumption billing is higher than most, putting us at an unfair disadvantage having to pay 3 times more with the proposed rate. There just does not appear to be a rationale for hitting one sector alone.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented COP Community Engagement over 1 year ago
      Hi there, I posted the reply below and wanted to make sure you saw that it applies to your comment as well....I want to thank you for your feedback. This rate for home-based businesses has been in place since before 1977 but has not been uniformly applied. Through this review, we have an opportunity to see if it still makes sense in the current environment. Your comments are consistent with other feedback we have received and will be considered by staff and shared with Council as part of the review of the proposed bylaw. Updates will be provided here to keep you informed. Thanks again.
  • kikimomma over 1 year ago
    My husband and Co workers company use our address as a place of contact.. they are in construction and work outside of our house. They are registered with the city for their business license. Highly unfair to raise rates for situations like these. .....money grab . expensive rates as it is now....time for a change
    Hide reply (1)
    • Admin Commented COP Community Engagement over 1 year ago
      Hi there, I posted the reply below and wanted to make sure you saw that it applies to your comment as well....I want to thank you for your feedback. This rate for home-based businesses has been in place since before 1977 but has not been uniformly applied. Through this review, we have an opportunity to see if it still makes sense in the current environment. Your comments are consistent with other feedback we have received and will be considered by staff and shared with Council as part of the review of the proposed bylaw. Updates will be provided here to keep you informed. Thanks again.
  • Tzumpano over 1 year ago
    I work from home and have a business license. My daycare does not require me to use any more power than if I was a stay at home mom. If anything, I use less because I’m more aware of what’s on and what’s not. My business only operates 33% of the time I’m in my home. Many daycares don’t operate with a city license when out of their home. For a city that has so many people struggling with the constant utilities hikes, to blanket all home based businesses is unfair and frankly unethical.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Admin Commented COP Community Engagement over 1 year ago
      Hi there,I want to thank you for your feedback. This rate for home-based businesses has been in place since before 1977 but has not been uniformly applied. Through this review, we have an opportunity to see if it still makes sense in the current environment. Your comments are consistent with other feedback we have received and will be considered by staff and shared with Council as part of the review of the proposed bylaw. Updates will be provided here to keep you informed. Thanks again.
      Hide reply (1)
      • Tzumpano over 1 year ago
        Considering the city continuously raises rates on utilities and taxes I believe it will further tarnish the opinion of the current counsel as well as the City and it’s reputation of a welcoming City to the young and employed. If it is a bylaw that was introduced and never followed through on then clearly there hasn’t been a need to apply it then or now. Especially since the city is raising rates on everything.