FortisBC plans to increase rates for its electric customers by 3.98 per cent, effective Jan. 1.
A residential customer with an average use of approximately 1,100 kilowatt hours per month will pay about $7.62 more per month. Changes to individual bills will vary based on use.
“With a growing market demand for power, we are forecasting an increased cost to purchase power in the upcoming year to serve our growing customer demand,” said Joe Mazza, vice-president, energy supply and resource development.
The company has received interim approval from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for the hike.
“We’re very conscious that any rate increase can be a concern for our customers and we’ve been able to find savings in our operations to offset some of this cost and lower the increase that would have otherwise been needed for 2023,” said Mazza.
These new rates reflect what FortisBC must charge to execute its plans for 2023 and maintain the system effectively for its customers, he added.
A final decision on permanent rates is expected in later in 2023.
As of 2023, all residential use will be billed at a single rate and, for the first time since 2011, customers will see only one line item on their bill for all the kilowatt hours they have used for each billing period.
“FortisBC understands that energy costs are an important consideration in household budgets and offers a number of one-on-one solutions for customers who are experiencing concerns with their bill, including no-cost energy savings programs for customers with qualifying incomes,” explained Mazza.