BC Hydro crew at work: the recent cold spell has included wind and ice-related power outages around the province.

BC Hydro offers new winter payment plan

Record high demand during cold snap and the latest increase in rates have pushed up power bills around B.C.

Cold weather has pushed electricity consumption to near-record levels, prompting BC Hydro to offer customers a new payment option to spread the cost over six months.

The winter payment plan averages BC Hydro bills for residential customers from Dec. 1 to March 31. It’s offered to customers who are not on the utility’s existing equal payment plan, which averages bills for the entire year.

Customers can participate in the winter payment plan by calling 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376).

Unusually cold weather in southern B.C. pushed power consumption to a record on Jan. 3, when demand peaked between 5 and 6 p.m. at 10,126 megawatts. That breaks a record set on Nov. 29, 2006, and for Metro Vancouver it is the longest spell of sub-zero weather in about 30 years.

Power bills are pushed up more by the latest BC Hydro rate increase, a four per cent hike that took effect last summer. The B.C. government-mandated rate plan calls for further increases of 3.5 per cent and three per cent in the next two years, after which authority over rates is to be returned to the B.C. Utilities Commission.

NDP energy critic Adrian Dix said the string of rate increases that began in 2013 is one reason why BC Hydro lowered its demand forecast last year. A series of politically driven rate increases totalling 28 per cent has placed an extra hardship on people with the onset of cold weather, he said.

“Any chance you give people to deal with massive rate increases in a cold winter is good,” Dix said. “I have no issue with them doing that. But let’s be clear, it’s a massive rate increase over the last number of years.”

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with northern B.C. First Nations governments

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

$15 million spent on cancelled transmition line

BC Hydro had already spent approximately $15 million on planning a new… Continue reading

New funding available for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read