Georgia Strait is reporting some tenants in the ex-Olympic Village are encountering higher than expected utility bills:
The group managing two City of Vancouver–owned housing properties at the Olympic Village is hearing complaints from residents about excessive energy bills.Thom Armstrong, executive director of the COHO Management Services Society, admitted that his group also wants some answers.“As to the level of the invoices, we have some questions about that ourselves,” Armstrong told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.Unlike many residents outside the Olympic Village, which has been touted as a model of a sustainable neighbourhood, residents of the Southeast False Creek development are charged two bills for energy.One is for electricity consumption, and this bill comes from B.C. Hydro. Then there’s a bill from Enerpro Systems Corp., a North Vancouver–based company. According to information that Enerpro put out about its billing, the charges cover “heating, cooling, hot water, and cold water”.
It’s not necessarily that utility bills are higher than other units — though they may well be — but the uncertainty for future owners and tenants make this development all the more the black sheep. We already know the current rental environment is a “renter’s market” so to ensure that units can be filled the City may find it needs to take on more utility liability. But in terms of reducing energy consumption…
Armstrong said, “… I still very much support the notion of individual energy metering, because that’s the only way to create any incentive to lower energy use and lower the carbon footprint. So I think, on principle, it’s what we want to do. We just want to make sure that the system is working the way it should be.”
Indeed. When economic and carbon footprints collide, who pays, exactly?