Cold weather has pushed electricity consumption to near-record levels, prompting BC Hydro to offer customers a new payment option to spread the cost over six months.
The winter payment plan averages BC Hydro bills for residential customers from Dec. 1 to March 31. It’s offered to customers who are not on the utility’s existing equal payment plan, which averages bills for the entire year.
Customers can participate in the winter payment plan by calling 1-800-224-9376 (1-800-BCHYDRO).
Unusually cold weather in southern B.C. pushed power consumption to a record on Jan. 3, when demand peaked between 5 and 6 p.m. at 10,126 megawatts. That breaks a record set on Nov. 29, 2006, and for Metro Vancouver it is the longest spell of sub-zero weather in about 30 years.
Power bills are pushed up more by the latest BC Hydro rate increase, a four per cent hike that took effect last summer. The B.C. government-mandated rate plan calls for further increases of 3.5 per cent and three per cent in the next two years, after which authority over rates is to be returned to the B.C. Utilities Commission.