Olympic Village tenant speaks out on high energy bills

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      Until the Straight reported last week about the high energy bills of residents at the Olympic Village, Will Melbourne was resigned to keeping quiet about his situation.

      Melbourne rents an apartment in the Southeast False Creek development. He is concerned that he has been paying more money for his energy consumption even though he now lives in a neighbourhood that’s supposed to be a model of sustainability.

      “I was just going to ignore it and just accept it as part of living there, but now I realize other people are having the same problems,” Melbourne told the Straight in a phone interview. “I thought I should do something about it.”

      He doesn’t live in either of the two rental properties owned by the City of Vancouver that were reported on by the Straight , but his experience is essentially the same.

      Melbourne gets two energy bills. One is from B.C. Hydro, which covers electricity costs. Another comes from Enerpro Systems Corp., a North Vancouver–based company, which charges for heating, hot water, cooling, and cold water.

      According to Melbourne, he used to rent outside the Olympic Village and paid about $60 a month for his energy consumption.

      “Now it takes me $140,” Melbourne said of his B.C. Hydro and Enerpro bills. He noted that it’s the first time he’s ever had to pay for cold water.

      According to Enerpro, energy rates are set by the city-owned Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility.

      Thom Armstrong, executive director of the COHO Management Services Society, the group that manages the two city-owned rental properties at the Olympic Village, previously informed the Straight that Enerpro charges an administration fee of $12.50 for each billing. The rest of the revenues collected by Enerpro goes to the city.

      Jennifer Standeven, assistant director of business operations in the city’s community services group, said a review is being done on the energy system of the two properties being managed by COHO.

      “We want to make sure that the billing is clear and accurate and understandable for tenants,” Standeven told the Straight in a phone interview.

      COHO contracted Enerpro to do the energy billings and collections for the two city-owned properties. However, Standeven cannot say who made arrangements for Enerpro to do the same for the rest of the buildings at the Olympic Village, such as the one where Melbourne lives.




      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:27pm

      I see another scam in the works by the greenest city action team, this Sidhu Johnson whatever he calls himself has to go, this is vision vancouver and their wing nut members, they are going to destroy the City of Vancouver, do any project and not costing it, what idiots in City Hall, Southeast False Creek that rings a bell, Sean Bickerson?

      Glissando Remmy

      Jul 13, 2011 at 8:31pm

      The Thought of The Day

      "What Aufoch's going on at Vancouver's City Hall?"

      That would be the question the Olympic Village residents should be asking themselves. For to pay two separate bills for two different entities, for an apartment in the city is...unprecedented.... when all there is in all honesty...is... Hydro!

      Enerpro similar to the Leeching Run of The River Power corporations currently parasitizing BC Hydro, courtesy of Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals, is a Solomon/ Renewal/ Robertson/ Vision 'integrated' corporation.

      Wazzup? Say again!

      What? Did you think these people that backed Vision had their best intentions for the City of Vancouver when you elected them in office?

      Their intentions were indeed 'green', as in $green$!

      In November vote Vision/ Robertson out! As per Geoff Meggs, who arrogantly said recently 'the election was the consultation'. Well, let's counsel them then.

      We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.


      Jul 13, 2011 at 11:20pm

      Does Gilssando know for sure that Vision put Enerpro in charge. Maybe that deal was signed when Sam Sullivan and his band were still in power.

      Either way tossing out Vision in favour of NPA isn't going to change the developer centric attitude at city hall. Ordinary citizens don't matter to either party.

      Having said that it seems very strange that buildings that supposedly meet LEED Gold cost so much to operate. There's something very fishy going on.


      Jul 14, 2011 at 7:36am

      Suckers. Anyone who thought buying at the Olympic Village was going to pay off learned the hard way that it's generally not a good idea to buy something before you try it.

      Darren Pearson

      Jul 14, 2011 at 11:43am

      Buyer beware!
      It was quite obvious to me the lack of quality and the scam feeling when viewing these suits. Why would anyone buy such obvious crap!

      Sell to the Communists

      Jul 14, 2011 at 12:46pm

      You have to be careless to pay $140 in a Condo for Power & Water. Move out save $110+ per month :).

      Get the City to sell the rest of the Condos to a lot of Communist from China, they seem to buying everything here.

      Can you buy Communist Land in China do they welcome Canadians who are not Communist?


      Jul 14, 2011 at 5:48pm

      Vancouver. Stupidville in 1994 and the name still fits. Olympic Village is one of the pinnacle landmarks of Stupidville.

      resident at rental managed by COHO

      Jul 14, 2011 at 10:23pm

      It seems there is a constant misunderstanding regarding Enerpro. It is NOT an energy company it is a small accounting office in North Vancouver which does billing for various clients. It has NOTHING to do with energy only billing. I spoke to one of the executives at length and they clearly stated they do not do any billing for City Of Vancouver. They were contracted by Coho and send them the funds NOT to City of Vancouver as the executive at Coho says. It is simply not true and I believe COHO is trying to confuse everyone as well as cover their ass (which needs covering!).
      -The City of Vancouver spend 6 million dollars on solar panels that were sufficient to supply all the energy the building under the panels needed.

      -people should not have gotten ANY bills from anyone including BC Hydro because the building made more than enough energy for its needs of all units.

      All units are getting TWO BILLS at approximately TWICE the normal cost without even considering the net zero energy building.

      Someone is stealing the energy that the solar panels are making and it is either The City Of Vancouver or COHO management. The energy is being made but the tenants are not getting it, instead they are getting these crazy bills from two different sources.

      -For a place to have won all these international awards for self sustainability and net zero building something is very F___ED up! Enerpro is a small billing company and either the City of Vancouver or Coho is screwing the residents of the energy that was supposed to be available to all tenants. COHO is constantly telling the tenants not to complain to the city, I wonder why, the sad thing is the city is so proud to have brought affordable housing to seniors in these gold class eco building where in fact the seniors are the ones that have been under tremendous stress and COHO doesn't seem to have a single clue as to what is going on or unwilling to let anyone know what the truth is.

      I have a feeling that COHO will come back to the tenants in about a month and tell us all that "We have been in extensive negotiations with Enerpro and the City of Vancouver on your behalf and we have been able to bring your enerpro bill down 25%, isn't that wonderful?" So that all the seniors get to pay one and three quarters what they should be paying instead of twice as much. Lucky us. Most residents are both fearful and skeptical of COHO as they have mentioned on occasion how lucky the [people are that live here and by inference not to complain. Try phoning them, if they answer it will be the once in the 150 times they may answer their phone.


      Jul 15, 2011 at 12:31pm

      Your words well spoken Thank-you


      Jul 15, 2011 at 10:23pm

      This city is run by a bunch of amateurs. Corrupt amateurs.
      The current mayor and his council all have to go before Vancouver becomes a laughing stock. Oops, too late.