Look for Your Utility Refund In the Mail

Defective is as defective was. LHEUC’s 2 appeals of the SCC’s February 2006 order nullifying the changes to its rates and rules were rejected. On 3/14/06, the SCC made final its Order requiring LHEUC to refund the overcharges. The SCC did extend the deadline to pay refunds from May 1, 2006 to August 31, 2006. LHEUC also has to provide an accounting of refunds to the SCC by that date. Homeowners are entitled to a refund of $40.50 per month for each month they were overcharged. Anyone who overpaid the tap fee is entitled to a refund of $7,032 for each lot. Refunds have to be paid with interest.

Of course, since the SCC ruled that LHEUC’s original notice was “defective and should be given no effect”, the proposed change to Rule 16 – the policy covering line extensions – never happened. LHEUC is still obligated to extend lines to anyone requesting service within its service area – the entire Lake Holiday subdivision. The obligation is the same as it has been for over 30 years.

Interestingly, LHEUC filed its second petition on a Friday, and on the following Monday repeated its filing but changed the number of customers it provided its November 2005 notice to from 693 to 1096. On Friday it said it provided notice to only the 693 homeowners, but on Monday it changed that to say it provided notice to 677 homeowners and 419 owners of buildable lots. It will be interesting to learn which of these facts is correct. It didn’t otherwise draw attention to this change, but the sharp eyes at the SCC caught it.

If in fact LHEUC only provided notice to homeowners and not owners of Buildable Lots, this would mark a major slap in the face to owners of Buildable Lots. If this is the case, LHEUC proposed to increase the tap fee from $8,868 to $16,000 but didn’t bother to tell the group most directly affected – owners of Buildable Lots. One way to make sure no one complains about what you plan to do is to not tell them until you’ve already succeeded in doing it behind their back. It’s just a fitting way to close a series of filings to a government agency that were full of flip-flops and bloopers.

Did you get your refund yet?

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