Your electricity bill is going down. Maybe.
Starting July 1 FortisBC residential electricity customers will be dealing with a new residential conservation rate on their bill that rewards people with lower rates for lower usage, inflicting a little more pain for higher current consumption.
The provincial power company is establishing a two-level rate structure next month, offering 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.
The move was predicated earlier this year by a decision from the BC Utilities Commission to implement this type of rate, said Neal Pobran, Fortis BC corporate communications advisor, in a press release Friday.
“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,” he said. “The new rate is designed to recover the same amount of revenue from residential customers in total.”
The change means the basic monthly customer charge drops almost $1 to $29.65 (from $30.52), while the charge per kilowatt hour—up to 1,600 kilowatt hours of electricity used over a two-month billing period—sits at 8.258 cents, jumping to 12.003 cents for electricity used above that amount.
That first 1,600 kWh block of electricity used every two months will be billed at a lower rate than the current FortisBC flat rate.
However, rates for commercial, wholesale, lighting and irrigation customers will remain the same.
As well, the average FortisBC electricity customer uses 2,100 kWh every two months—500 kWh over the first tier—will see no significant changes to their monthly cost of electricity under the residential conservation rate.