BC Hydro increases rates
On April 1, BC Hydro rates will increase by 3.5 per cent or about $3.75 per month for residential customers.
In 2013, a 10-Year Plan was announced for BC Hydro rates. Bill Bennett, the then-Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review announced a 10 year plan on November 26, 2013. From that announcement:
- Government will set rate increases for the initial two years of the 10 year plan at nine per cent and six per cent;
- The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) will set increases for the following three years within caps of four per cent, 3.5 per cent and three per cent; and
- In the final five years of the plan, rates will be set by the BCUC and actions by government and BC Hydro will ensure increases remain low and predictable.
This marks the fourth year of that plan.
BC Hydro extends Winter Payment Plan sign up to April 30
BC Hydro is giving customers more time to sign up for the Winter Payment Plan as a result of Environment and Climate Change Canada reporting lower than normal temperatures across the majority of BC this winter. The plan provides the option to spread bill payments over a six month period. Customers now have until April 30 to make individual payment arrangements.
The Winter Payment Plan was announced in January after sustained freezing temperatures resulted in energy consumption reaching record-breaking levels that may have led to some customers receiving higher than normal bills. The plan gives them the option to manage these costs over a longer period of time.
The period eligible for the Winter Payment Plan runs from December 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. Customers were originally asked to sign up by March 31, but now have until April 30. Those who would like participate in the Winter Payment Plan can call BCHydro’s customer service team at 1–800–BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376).
BC Hydro offers many options to help customers manage their bills, including the Equal Payment Plan which can be set up at any time and takes usage from the last 12 months, dividing it into equal monthly payments; helping to make monthly budgeting easier. Customers can also take advantage of the free electricity tracking tools available on bchydro.com. These tools allows customers to see their estimated bill and electricity use right down to the hour.