Fortis electricity rates increase Jan. 1, 2013

Residential customers to see a 6.6 per cent hike on their electricity bills.

The B.C. Utilities Commission has approved an application by FortisBC to increase electricity rates by 4.2 per cent and a further 2.3 per cent rate rebalancing increase effective as of Jan. 1, 2013.

The cumulative rate adjustment for residential customers will mean an increase of 6.6 per cent, which for  the average residential customer using 1,050 kWh per month translates to a billing increase of about $7.07 per month.

“FortisBC works to provide our customers with safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost,” said Tom Loski, FortisBC vice-president of customer service, “but changes in the external environment are causing pressure on our rates such as financing system maintenance and improvements, along with increased purchases of power.”

Further adjustments to electricity rates are because of rate rebalancing. Last year, FortisBC announced rate rebalancing which ensures that each customer group pays their share of the costs required to serve them, but does not generate extra revenue for FortisBC.

“This is the final phase of rate rebalancing for our residential customers that came as a result of our cost of service analysis. This analysis is done periodically to ensure rates are fair and equitable between customer groups and that no one customer class is subsidizing another,” said Loski.

Therefore, the cumulative rate adjustment starting Jan. 1 for other FortisBC electricity customers will see small business customers receiving a 5.5 per cent reduction; lighting customers will see a 6.8 per cent increase; wholesale customers will see a 5.9 per cent increase and Nelson wholesale will also see an increase of 4.6 per cent.

FortisBC continues to offer programs and services to help customers manage their electricity use through its PowerSense program. The FortisBC PowerSense program provides customers both financial incentives and helpful advice on energy efficient technologies and practices that can reduce electricity bills.

For more information on the 2012-13 revenue requirement decision or to view the rate rebalancing news releases from December or April, 2011 please visit fortisbc.com.

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