To The Editor:
As our customers know, the winter season brings higher electricity bills given the home heating energy requirements compared to the rest of the year.
During the mid-December to mid-February billing period, many parts of our electricity service territory experienced much colder than usual winter temperatures. With colder than usual weather, energy use has been higher than typical, which is now being reflected on customer bills.
Additionally, some customers may find a portion of their usage billed at the second tier of the Residential Conservation Rate (RCR), which can contribute to an increase in overall bills.
The RCR is a two block rate structure that was approved by our regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to encourage customers to save energy through providing financial incentives to use less electricity. The BCUC is currently reviewing the rate structure at the request of the provincial government.
FortisBC understands that receiving higher than expected bills can be challenging, and we want customers to know that we’re here to help. We work with customers year-round to determine reasons for higher than expected bills and try to find solutions that may include payment arrangements. For example, we offer an Equal Payment Plan to customers who want a fixed monthly payment and avoid seasonal fluctuations.
FortisBC also offers free conservation programs for income-qualified customers and incentives for those wanting to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. For more information about these programs, customers can visit fortisbc.com/rebates.
Customers who wish to discuss their bills or how to save energy can call our customer service team at 1-866-436-7847.
Roger Dall’Antonia, Executive Vice President Customer Service and Technology, FortisBC