B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston and Premier John Horgan (B.C. government)

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

BC Hydro is offering a three-month bill credit for residential customers and small businesses who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ability of mines, mills and other industrial users to defer half their bills for three months.

Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Bruce Ralston announced the measures April 1, providing it to individuals who have lost their jobs or have reduced income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will provide three months of relief on individual accounts, and unlike other B.C. coronavirus support programs it doesn’t require people to qualify for federal Employment Insurance, Ralston said.

The individual relief will appear as a credit on residential bills, amounting to three times the average power bill for the past year, and it does not have to be repaid. Based on the average BC Hydro residential bill, the benefit would amount to $477.

RELATED: Canada’s 75% wage subsidy coming, in about six weeks

RELATED: Parliament needs to convene for COVID-19 assistance

Small businesses that have had to close due to COVID-19 will have a three-month “payment holiday,” from their BC Hydro costs, with applications to be available by April 14, Ralston said. Bills will be waived for April, May and June under the new program. Large industrial users of electricity can defer up to half of their bills for a three-month period, with applications open until June 30 for the business relief.

“We know that people are losing their jobs, shuttering their stores and restaurants, and in some cases may be on the brink of curtailing operations at mines, mills and plants,” Ralston said.

Horgan also announced that the B.C. Utilities Commission has approved a one per cent rate cut for BC Hydro, effective April 1, which he called the first reduction in decades after years of mounting debt and major work on the province’s network of dams.

The new program is different from BC Hydro’s “customer crisis fund,” established in 2018, that has provided access to grants of up to $600 for customers. It is funded by a monthly charge of approximately 25 cents per month added to residential hydro bills.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii libraries launch new ‘takeout’ curbside pickup service

As of June 5, cardholders can once again access physical copies of books, DVDs and more

Blacktail Haida Gwaii working to reopen with new covered patio

Chef-owner Edi Szasz hopes to reopen on June 25, the one-year anniversary of the restaurant

Skidegate daycare staff recognized for creative care during COVID-19

Staff have been using social media to share isolation activities, read stories and sing songs

Village of Queen Charlotte approves business facade improvement grants

Applications from Gather, dental clinic, A Level Up approved, leaving about $14,000 up for grabs

Recycling services in Queen Charlotte, Port Clements expanding next week

Residential plastics will be accepted again, but most residential transfer stations remain closed

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read