As a response to the financial strains that are being placed on it's customers, BC Hydro has introduced a financial relief effort called the COVID-19 Relief Fund,
This effort aims to provide support to both BC Hydro's residential and business clients who have been effected by COVID-19. Read below for more details and what options might be available to you.
If you or your spouse/partner have stopped working due to Covid-19, you may be eligible for three months of bill credit based on your average consumption.
To be eligible for the Covid-19 Relief Fund for residential customers:
You need to be a residential account holder and have had your account as of March 31, 2020
You or your spouse/partner have stopped working due to Covid-19. Examples of being unable to work:
Being laid off
Workers that remain attached to their company but are without employment income
Being unable to continue earning self-employment income
Being quarantined or sick with Covid-19, or taking care of a family member who is sick with Covid-19
Having children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures
You must be able to upload verification of eligibility, such as your approval for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, approval for Employment Insurance, or a supporting document for your Canada Emergency Response Benefit application such as a record of employment or a closure letter from your child's daycare
Your average monthly electricity consumption must not exceed 2,500 kWh
There is a maximum of one Covid-19 Relief Fund bill credit per household.
If you are eligible, you can apply anytime until June 30, 2020 to receive the credit.
If you own a small business that needed to close due to Covid-19, you may be eligible to have your business' electricity use charges waived for up to three months.
To be eligible for the Covid-19 Relief Fund for small businesses:
You need to be a business account holder and have had your account prior to March 31, 2020
Your account must be on the Small General Service (SGS) rate, which includes rate schedules: 1300, 1301, 1310, 1311, 1234 and 1205
The following SGS rate accounts are ineligible: government agencies, public and private schools (including post-secondary), large retail and national companies, stratas, and unmetered services
You have temporarily closed your business and ceased operations due to a government order or because of a reduction in business on or after March 15, 2020 due to Covid-19
You must upload information to demonstrate that your business is closed, such as a copy of a notice to your customers that you're temporarily closed
Eligible business customers can apply any time before June 30, 2020 to have their business' bills waived for April, May and June.
If you're not eligible for the COVID-19 Relief Fund but are having trouble paying your BC Hydro bills during this time, consider the following other support programs BC Hyrdo offers.
For residential customers who are still working
Our COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program allows you to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. To get set up with this program, you can call the BC Hydro customer service team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376).
For residential customers who were facing disconnection
If you had overdue payments and were facing disconnection prior to any additional financial hardship that arose from COVID-19, you may be eligible for a Customer Crisis Fund grant. Please note that BC Hydro have stopped disconnections for non-payment during this time.
For medium and large business customers
Accounts on the Large General Service (LGS), Medium General Service (MGS) are eligible for interest-free bill deferrals and payment plans. Call the BC Hydro customer service team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options.
For industrial business customers
If you're an industrial customer receiving electricity at transmission voltage and on rate schedules RS1823 or RS1828, you can defer up to 50% of electricity use charges for three months. Qualifying mining customers can defer up to 75% of electricity charges, depending on commodity prices.
Deferred amounts must be repaid with interest. Contact your Key Account Manager for more information.