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

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Shuswap History in Pictures: Floodwater food run

A young boy rows through Sicamous’ streets during the 1972 flood.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read