VANCOUVER, B.C. — BC Hydro says it is once again activating its Winter Payment Plan to help its customers manage winter bill payments due to continued colder than average temperatures.
After a successful pilot last year, BC Hydro says it is reintroducing the Payment Plan program to help customers manage higher winter bills. The plan provides customers with the option to spread winter bill payments over a six-month period. The winter billing period runs from December 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. Customers who would like to participate can call 1–800–BCHYDRO.
After a colder than usual December and the return of cold air to many regions late January into early February, BC Hydro’s meteorologists are predicting the next couple of months will likely continue to bring below average temperatures. Colder temperatures lead to higher electricity bills – especially for those using electric heat. Residential energy consumption increases, on average, by 88 percent in the colder, darker months – late fall and winter.
“Cold temperatures across the province drive-up electricity usage, resulting in higher BC Hydro bills that can be difficult for families to manage alongside other household expenses,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President & Chief Operating Officer. “Our meteorologists are predicting colder than average temperatures will continue over the next of couple of months and we want to provide customers with help to manage their payments.”
BC Hydro is also increasing funding for its low income conservation programs by $2.2 million, bringing the total to $10 million over the next three years. The low-income programs provide eligible customers with energy savings kits – which include a number of simple, easy-to-install products such as energy-efficient LED light bulbs and weather stripping. More than 100,000 kits have been distributed since 2008, delivering over $4 million dollars in annual electricity cost savings to BC Hydro’s income-qualifying customers.