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Fortis BC applies for power rate hike

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

Your power bill could be larger by around $6 if Fortis BC gets its way.

The power company has filed application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission to set customer electricity rates for 2011, requesting a general 5.9 per cent increase effective Jan. 1, 2011.

According to the company’s website, British Columbians are using more electricity and the company is trying to manage to cover it off, claiming “ongoing investment in electrical infrastructure and increasing power purchases driven by customer growth” are the reasons for the increase.

If approved, the average residential customer consuming 1,000 kilowatts per hour (kWh) per month may see an increase of about $5.70 per month.

“Over the last six years, FortisBC has made capital investments that have significantly improved electrical reliability and customer service,” said John Walker, FortisBC president and chief executive officer. “FortisBC must continue to invest in the electrical system in 2011.”

However, there are some alternatives to the rising cost of power, Walker pointed out. Through the PowerSense program, customers are offered both financial incentives and helpful advice on energy efficient technologies and practices that can reduce electrical bills.

Information on FortisBC energy efficiency programs is available at