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Power time-shift shocks White Rock merchant
A White Rock merchant who closed shop twice this month for scheduled power outages says he wants to know why business operators at Royal Plaza weren’t told when one of those outages were cancelled.
BC Hydro has apologized for the “miscommunication” that led Wolf Paech of Wolf’s Deli to twice move all of the perishables from nine refrigerated units in preparation for the Oct. 8 and Oct. 21 outages, but the store owner said this week that words are not enough.
He wants compensation to cover his losses – about $500 in all.
“That’s a big mistake,” he reasoned. “I cleaned everything out that day (Oct. 8) and nothing happened. It cost a lot of time and it cost a lot of wages.”
Paech was among 16 BC Hydro customers who were notified in late September of the first outage, planned to accommodate a power-pole replacement.
After receiving a second notice advising of the Oct. 21 outage, he called the utility company to confirm which day – and was told work would proceed both days.
“I did my due diligence,” he said Wednesday.
Paech only discovered the plans had changed for Oct. 8 when he saw staff at the Royal Bank opening for business that morning.
“The bank told me… they knew a week (before). As a small merchant, I’m not informed,” he said.
Until at least 10:15 a.m., the utility’s website continued to advise that power was scheduled to remain off until 4 p.m., he noted.
BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott said Wednesday the problem was caused by a mistake in the notification process. Affected customers were to receive notice of the schedule change on Oct. 3.
“Unfortunately, he wasn’t notified properly,” Scott said. “Obviously we regret any inconvenience that this may have caused him.”
While an Oct. 10 letter from BC Hydro advises Paech he will not be compensated, he said he was told late Wednesday morning that the request is now being considered. (Scott was unable to confirm that by PAN’s deadline Wednesday afternoon.)
Scott said earlier that such claims are typically denied.
“In our electricity tariff it sort of outlines that we’re unable to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity, so most of those claims that are sort of beyond our control are refused.”
The project is part of plans to replace 700 aging poles in the area.