Fortis Wants Rate Change

On December 22, FortisBC submitted its Cost of Service Analysis and Rate Design Application to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) and in it, recommended returning to a single, flat residential rate and re-establishing a time-of-use rate as an option for residential customers.

"FortisBC understands that electricity rates and bills matter to our customers and consulting with our customers and various stakeholders was an important part of this rate design process," said Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs. "We heard from many participants with concerns about the two-tiered rate, particularly those with high energy needs and limited conservation options."

If approved, the return to a single, flat rate for residential customers will be phased in over five years by reducing the difference between the two tiers of the residential rate and increasing the customer charge that was frozen for a period of time under the residential conservation structure. This phased-in approach is intended to mitigate annual rate impacts for lower consumption customers.

By re-establishing time-of-use rates, residential customers still have an option to reduce their energy costs by shifting their high consumption activities to off-peak hours. 

FortisBC expects a decision on its electric rate design by the end of 2018 with the new structure coming into effect in 2019.