FortisBC applies for rate increase

If approved, rate increase would apply in 2014 and be reviewed annually

Five hydro meters

Fortis, the company that provides electrical service to approximately 111,500 customers in the south central part of the province, has applied to the BC Utilities Commission for a rate increase of 3.3 per cent for 2014 and has laid the groundwork to revisit the rate through 2018.

“The way it works for the commission is we re-visit our rates every year, so we only requested for 2014 the 3.3 percent but we’re filing the [five-year] application to kind of have the parameters in place,” said Neal Pobran, manager of corporate communications who was reached by telephone. “We’ll go back again through another regulatory process for the following years after that.”

Pobran said the public is welcome to view the application and make comments online. It will be available shortly at www.bcuc.com. It will also be on the FortisBC website at www.fortisbc.com.

While BC Hydro has been the subject of intense political debate over its fee structure, FortisBC operates on a smaller playing field and with far fewer customers. Still, according to a corporate report, FortisBC’s electric operations had a net income of $49 million in 2012.

The utility is also in the planning stages of a new $16 million operations centre in Ootischenia.

“We’re trying to go to the five year plan so that if we do have any savings, they are passed onto customers,” said Pobran. “Every utility is struggling with this — when you think how much electricity use has increased and the aging of the infrastructure, It’s what everyone is facing right now. People used to have one television and now what… four is pretty common? Different times.”

John Walker, President and CEO of FortisBC commented in a press release that cost and reliability are customers main concerns.

“In this application, we’re trying to balance our customers’ need to minimize rate increases, while addressing rising power costs and paying for the necessary investment to the electrical system,” said Walker.

The FortisBC release also noted a review of the residential conservation rate is underway and they will be filing a report with the results with the commission. The report will include public input and study the impact of a conservation rate on customers.

“While most customers benefit from the residential conservation rate, we are sensitive that some pay more. This report will provide a better understanding of the issues and impacts of the rate,” said Walker. “We continue to work with our customers to find ways to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient by offering rebates and through programs like community energy diets, including one currently underway in the Kootenays and one planned for the South Okanagan this fall.”

For more information and to learn ways to reduce energy use, visit www.fortisbc.com/electricityrates.

To discuss your bill with FortisBC, including ways to potentially save energy, call 1-866-436-7847.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued snowboarders

Two snowboarders found safe near Rossland, B.C.

Nelson bumps up cost of east Blewett fire service

The 20 per cent increase will amount to approximately $56 per year for a $400,000 home

Spike in vehicle thefts from remote parking lots

RCMP investigating a half dozen incidents

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Female goalie from Golden wins first Junior B game

Female goalie believed to be league’s first to play a full game and win

Nelson Leafs lose to Nitehawks on last-minute goal

The game was played to finish a postponed contest in December

CBT to provide 100 new child care spaces

Nelson Waldorf School is also getting money for a roof

Leafs down Border Bruins in penalty-filled game

Logan Wullum stole the show for Nelson in the 4-1 win

SKI TIPS: The key to skiing in heavy powder

Whitewater Ski Team coach Dylan Henderson shows how to navigate powder with ease

Leafs’ five-game winning streak snapped by Nitehawks

Nelson fell 4-1 on the first of three straight games this weekend

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Most Read