Fredericton — NB Power sent an email out Saturday, April 1, informing customers of a “new” power rate effective that same day.
The email, which had the NB Power logo but did not mention any names, vaguely explained reasons for a rate “change,” meaning an increase for already cash-strapped New Brunswickers.
“We now realize it was in poor taste, given how much people are struggling to make ends meet,” said Kevin Peterson, a spokesperson for NB Power. “We regret that we may have crossed a line in our prank this year. In our defense, we honestly did think people would get it, you know, considering the date on the email.”
Customers were understandably upset when they read the email, that said: “Starting April 1, 2023, energy rates will increase by a net total of 4.8 per cent in New Brunswick for the next 12 months. This means an increase of $8.64 per month on the average residential bill.” This was the only real information, and it was couched in long pandering paragraphs about how no one wants to see rising rates.
Mary-Beth Allen of Fredericton said that with the skyrocketing cost of groceries, gas and just about everything else, this “joke” rubbed her the wrong way.
“I’ve made a strict budget for this year, and it’s not exactly hilarious to me to think I’ll have to shell out another hundred bucks in 2023 just so I don’t freeze to death,” Allen told our reporter. “Real funny, NB Power! Maybe you should leave the comedy to the professionals.”
Peterson was somewhat apologetic on the utility’s behalf, but also placed blame on the dummies who fell for it.
“I mean, come on, people — obviously it’s a joke… ‘No one’ wants to see rising rates? We do!” Peterson exclaimed. “That’s how we make our bonuses! We’re not the ones getting our power cut off because we can’t pay the bill, or eating less to make up extra costs. I guess next year we’ll have to make it more obvious.”
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