Cottager’s power bill jumps 1000 percent, told ‘something was left on over the winter’

Power lines

Ever worry about leaving something on at the cottage while you’re away? Well, you might after this story.

A cottage owner in Nova Scotia’s Lunenburg County received a winter bill from Nova Scotia Power that was ten times what she typically pays. And, according to CBC News, the bill will likely stay that way.

Eighty-seven-year-old Viola Eisnor has owned the cottage property for more than 60 years. Her family uses the cottage from May to late-September, when they help close up. This usually involves shutting off the breakers and unplugging everything.

Generally, the bill Eisnor receives for the off-season amounts to $40 to $60, but her bill for last winter turned out to be $770.43.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she told CBC. “I had to keep reading it, then I called them and they said that’s what the meter read.”

While Eisnor and her family maintain that everything in the cottage was shut-off and unplugged as always, Bev Ware, the spokeswoman for Nova Scotia power, says otherwise.

Because there’s no up-and-down history with the customer’s usage, the bill is an isolated issue. “These factors suggest that something was left on over the winter,” Ware told CBC.

The power authority even removed the old meter and tested it at an accredited meter shop, which showed that the meter was still functioning properly.

According to reports, Nova Scotia Power has tried to work with Eisnor by removing late charges, and arranging a more long-term payment plan, which might be Eisnor’s best bet.

“You’re up against a monopoly. You can’t go down the road and purchase power someplace else,” said NDP interim Leader Maureen MacDonald, who told CBC she’s been frustrated in her attempts to help Eisnor deal with the company.

Eisnor’s family’s next step will be contacting the power authority’s resolution officer in attempt to get a review.