Customers who were forced from their homes by flood or fire will not be charged for energy used while not at home thanks to billing relief being provided by FortisBC. There were 2,623 gas and electric customers under evacuation order due to this year’s floods and wildfires and they will be receiving a bill credit that accounts for the energy they were charged while they were evacuated.
“We always look to find ways to support our customers during difficult times,” says Dawn Mehrer, vice-president of customer service at FortisBC. “Given that many customers were forced from their homes due to evacuations, we are providing a bill credit to cover energy used during this time.”
On August 1, FortisBC applied to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for approval to provide bill credits to its customers who were subject to an evacuation order due to flooding in May 2018 and proximity to wildfires in July and August 2018. The order was approved on September 14.
FortisBC works closely with the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) in disaster recovery. For instance, last year FortisBC supported the BCEDA in the launch of a business recovery hotline to assist businesses affected by the wildfires. The BCEDA also runs the BC Economic Disaster Program, a program focused on the resiliency and recovery of distressed economies.
“Our work early this year in Grand Forks clearly showed the need for some form of financial relief for businesses and residents as a result of the devastating floods,” says Dale Wheeldon, president and CEO of the BCEDA. “We are pleased that FortisBC received approval to offer billing relief to not only those in Grand Forks but also in other areas of B.C. that were impacted by wildfires and floods. This demonstrates a high level of corporate responsibility and support for those in need. The BCEDA Economic Disaster Recovery Program could not do the work it does without the incredible support offered by FortisBC.”
“We understand that from time to time customers experience life events or other challenges that may impact their ability to pay their bill on time. We also recognize that each situation is unique and we are committed to working with each customer on an individual basis to find a way to keep the energy flowing to their home or business,” adds Mehrer.
Customers can contact FortisBC directly if they have concerns about their bills or their services: Natural Gas at 1-888-224-2710 and Electricity at 1-866-436-7847.
FortisBC Energy Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC Energy Inc. employs more than 1,800 British Columbians and serves approximately 1,008,400 customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.