New FortisBC rates kick in

FortisBC customers will see adjustments to their power bills this month.

Residential FortisBC customers are now paying more for power.

Residential FortisBC customers are now paying more for power.

FortisBC customers will see adjustments to their power bills this month.

The power company has received approval for a 1.5 per cent interim rate increase, and at the same time is “rebalancing” rates for each customer group.

It means small businesses get a two per cent reduction, commercial customers a 7.8 per cent reduction, and major industry a 6.8 per cent reduction.

Residential, lighting, and wholesale customers rates are rising 2.5 per cent. There’s no change for irrigation customers.

The juggling is the result of an analysis “done periodically to ensure rates are fair and equitable between customer groups and that no one customer class is subsidizing another,” vice-president Tom Loski said in a news release.

The adjustments are combined with a 1.5 per cent “interim and refundable” rate increase the company says will allow it to “make safety and reliability investments in the electric system and build infrastructure.”

The BC Utilities Commission approved the increase last month — although it is less than the four per cent the company asked for.

FortisBC is also seeking a 6.9 per cent rate increase for 2013.

The company serves much of West Kootenay.