B.C. announces plans to extend the deferral of electricity costs for industries that have been impacted by COVID-19

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VICTORIA, B.C. – To help further support the Province’s mining, forestry, and other industries that have been impacted by COVID-19, the Government of British Columbia and BC Hydro are extending the opportunity for companies to defer their electricity bill payments for another three months.

As part of the BC Hydro COVID-19 Relief Program that was announced on April 1, 2020, eligible industrial customers with accounts in BC Hydro’s Transmission Service rate category, with rate schedules of 1823 and 1828, were given the opportunity to defer 50 percent of their electricity bill for the billing period of March to May 2020.

To date, 26 BC Hydro industrial customers have taken advantage of the bill deferral opportunity, deferring more than $25 million in payments from March through til May.

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Any major industries with accounts in BC Hydro’s transmission rate category use large amounts of energy and they represent around 25 percent of BC Hydro’s domestic electricity load in BC. The deferral program helps to retain load and revenues that, if they were lost, would also have a large negative impact on all BC Hydro ratepayers.

Chris O’Riley, president and CEO for BC Hydro says, “We recognize the vital role the resource sector plays in the province’s economy and are pleased to be able to offer temporary relief to our large industrial customers during this challenging time.”

The BC COVID-19 Action Plan has dedicated $5 billion to help support people, businesses, and essential services. It includes $1.7 billion for investments in critical services, $1.8 billion in financial support for individuals and businesses, and $1.5 billion to plan for economic recovery.

For more details, you can visit the BC Hydro website.

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