On Jan. 1, FortisBC electricity customers will see changes to their electricity rates as the company implements a one per cent general, interim increase, recently approved by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC), and continues to phase out its two-tiered rates.
“This is a relatively modest increase and the first since 2017,” said Diane Roy, vice-president, regulatory affairs, FortisBC. “Increases are needed to cover increased costs we incur to provide service to our customers and to monitor, update and invest in the system while reflecting our ongoing efforts to operate efficiently and carefully balance costs.”
The rate change will result in an average increase of just over one dollar per month for residential customers, but individual changes will vary based on energy needs. In fact, some residential customers could see bills decrease as FortisBC continues its transition to a flat, residential rate.
“We recognize that any changes to rates can be a concern for some customers and we have a number of tools and programs to assist. We encourage customers to get in touch with us if they have questions or need assistance,” said Roy.
Customers can use tools available on their online FortisBC account to monitor and better understand their electricity use. For example, customers who heat with electricity can experience higher bills this time of year and are encouraged to take extra steps to reduce heat loss so they can stay comfortable while using less energy. They can also access billing options that help avoid these seasonal variations. If they want to lower their use further, FortisBC offers a wide range of rebates and energy-efficiency programs. Anyone with concerns about their bill can contact FortisBC to make payment arrangements if needed.
FortisBC rates go through a transparent and rigorous review by the BCUC. As a regulated utility, FortisBC’s rates must reflect the cost of providing service, from maintaining the grid to generating or purchasing the power its customers need.
The BCUC will decide on permanent rates later in 2020 after it completes its review of related filings. Customers can find out more about these interim rate changes by visiting fortisbc.com/electricityrates or calling 1-866-436-7847.