FortisBC reminds customers about residential conservation rate

Rate structure designed to encourage customers to conserve electricity



KELOWNA, B.C. June 21, 2012: Beginning in July, FortisBC’s residential electricity customers will see a new residential conservation rate on their bill. Earlier this year, FortisBC received a decision from the BC Utilities Commission to implement this type of rate.

The residential conservation rate establishes a two-level rate structure that offers a lower rate for the first block of electricity used by residential customers, and a higher rate for use that exceeds the first block threshold. FortisBC was directed by the BC Utilities Commission to implement this type of rate which is intended to encourage conservation and support our customers to use less electricity. The new rate is designed to recover the same amount of revenue from residential customers in total.

Starting July 1, 2012, residential customers will pay 8.258 cents per kilowatt hour up to 1,600 kilowatt hours of electricity used over a two-month billing period and then 12.003 cents for electricity used above that amount. The basic customer charge also decreases to $29.65 from $30.52.

“We encourage all of our customers to use energy efficiently. Through the FortisBC PowerSense program, we support our customers as they take steps to make their homes more energy efficient. The cumulative effect of efforts to conserve energy benefits every FortisBC electricity customer,” said Tom Loski, vice president, customer service.

Under FortisBC’s residential conservation rate, the first 1,600 kWh block of electricity used every two months will be billed at a lower rate than the current FortisBC flat rate. All electricity used above the first block will be charged at a higher rate. Rates for commercial, wholesale, lighting and irrigation customers will remain the same.

The average FortisBC electricity customer that uses approximately 2,100 kWh every two months should see no significant changes to their monthly cost of electricity under the residential conservation rate.

For customers who are concerned about changing monthly bills, FortisBC continues to offer an equal payment plan which allows customers to avoid seasonal fluctuations on their bill by paying an equal amount every month. Energy Saving Kits are also available for free to help make energy efficiency improvements more affordable for low-income customers.

FortisBC is committed to helping customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both financial incentives and advice on energy efficient technologies and practices. Since 1989, our PowerSense program has helped electrical customers in the Southern Interior conserve more than 380 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough to power close to 30,000 homes each year.

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines and approximately 47,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or