New rates designed to encourage conservation

FortisBC's new rates are designed to save the consumer's money and encourage energy conservation.

A letter was published recently raising questions about FortisBC’s residential electricity rates. I am writing today to provide some information on FortisBC’s new residential conservation rate.

On July 1, FortisBC introduced a new residential conservation rate for its electricity customers. This means customers are being charged a rate that is lower than the old flat rate for the first block of electricity they use in a billing period and a higher rate for any electricity used above that amount.

FortisBC was directed by the BC Utilities Commission to apply for and implement this type of rate because it is designed to encourage conservation and to incent customers to use less electricity.

This new rate structure applies to FortisBC residential electricity customers, and a majority of our customers, about 75 per cent, including about 40 per cent of electric heat users, will actually see a decrease on their bills because of this new rate structure.  The residential conservation rate is revenue neutral, meaning FortisBC will collect the same amount of revenue as it did under the old flat rate.

While a residential conservation rate is new for FortisBC electricity customers, this type of rate is used by BC Hydro in areas where natural gas is provided by FortisBC or Pacific Northern Gas.

For people with electricity as their primary heat source, FortisBC has created a new program to help with electricity use called Reduce Your Use. I’d ask that anyone interested in learning more about this program, please visit fortisbc.com/reduce your use or if you would like to learn more about the residential conservation rate, visit fortisbc.com/rcr.

Mark WarrenFortisBC Director, customer service