The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) has approved FortisBC’s request to maintain its 2018 electricity rates in 2019. FortisBC’s last electric rate change took place in 2017, meaning that rates have been at the same level for three years.
“Recent customer growth, in addition to finding savings in our operations over the past few years, are two of the factors keeping rates steady for our electric customers this year,” said Diane Roy, vice-president, regulatory affairs, FortisBC. “With this decision, our electric rates continue to be below average when compared to other cities across Canada including Calgary, Toronto and Halifax, and that’s made the region attractive to emerging industries.”
Each year, FortisBC submits an application for BCUC approval that determines the rates for the following year. As part of this process, FortisBC determined that existing rates were sufficient to meet its revenue requirements for 2019. The 2018 rates stayed in place as interim rates while the BCUC considered the application; this decision makes these rates permanent for 2019.
“Revenue requirements include everything we do to provide service and keep the system maintained, from our hydro facilities that generate clean power in the Kootenays to the many assets that bring power to homes, businesses and communities in B.C.’s southern interior,” said Roy. “We’re continuing to invest in projects and initiatives where it makes sense for our customers, and with careful consideration of the cost impacts.”
Customer growth has been largely driven by new energy-intensive industries who are attracted to FortisBC’s clean, reliable power at lower rates than other jurisdictions. Some of the projects now underway to maintain this reliability include comprehensive maintenance and upgrades in Creston and the South Okanagan, as well as multi-year upgrades to two hydroelectric facilities. Customers also have more options to lower their electricity costs as a result of the recent BCUC decision to allow FortisBC to increase spending on electric efficiency programs by 75 per cent over the next four years.
Earlier this year, the BCUC also granted FortisBC approval to return to a single, flat rate for its residential customers by 2023. For more information about how rates are set and current rates, or to estimate how the return to a flat rate will affect your annual electricity costs, visit fortisbc.com/electricrates.