Fortis explains reasoning behind conservation rate

There has been much discussion in the media surrounding the cost of electricity in recent months, and for good reason

  • Apr. 23, 2013 2:00 p.m.

To the Editor:

There has been much discussion in the media surrounding the cost of electricity in recent months, and for good reason since it’s something we all rely on every day and have come to expect to be safe and reliable.

In particular, the residential conservation rate that was implemented in July 2012 has caused many of our customers to speak out. Most of our customers will benefit from this rate, but we are sensitive to the fact that some customers will pay more.

The BC Utilities Commission mandated that FortisBC implement the residential conservation rate after looking at variety of different rates and considering the bill impact on customers, including high-use customers, electric heat customers, low income customers and customers in different locations. The BCUC approved a residential conservation rate that would result in 75 per cent of customers seeing lower annual bills and only five per cent of customers seeing an annual increase of more than 10 per cent due to the new rate.

While we know some customers are seeing increases, particularly in the winter, approximately 75 per cent of customers will have lower bills averaged throughout the year. To look at it another way, if we went back to billing using a flat rate, a majority of customers would have higher annual bills for electricity.

As part of the decision from the BCUC, FortisBC is required to provide a summary on the effectiveness of the residential conservation rate and whether it is increasing conservation amongst our customers. This review is currently underway and will include consideration of feedback from customers.

FortisBC understands that any increase can be a hardship for some customers and encourages those customers to get in touch with us directly to see if we can help.  Please call us at 1-866-436-7847 or visit our website at fortisbc.com/rcr to learn more about the residential conservation rate.

Sincerely, Tom Loski, FortisBC, Vice President Customer Service