No hike in electricity rates for 2019: Fortis

FortisBC says its electric customers will see no rate increase for 2019. Global News/File Photo

FortisBC says there will be no electricity rate hikes for 2019, pending provincial approval.

In a press release on Wednesday, the energy company said it will be able to meet its revenue requirements for 2019 with its 2018 rates, and that it has applied to the B.C. Utilities Commission [BCUC] to keep its current rates in place. According to Fortis, BCUC has approved the request in the interim, pending a decision on permanent rates.

“This reflects our ongoing priority of keeping rates as low as possible, while still meeting our customers’ expectations for quality service,” said Diane Roy, vice president of regulatory affairs for Fortis. “Our last rate change occurred in 2017 and if our application is approved, 2019 will mark the third year these rates have been in place.”

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READ MORE: Natural gas supply low in B.C.; bills are going up

Fortis says it must annually submit its next-year revenue requirements to the BCUC for approval. Those revenue requirements determine Fortis’ electricity rates. Fortis said it doesn’t need a rate hike for 2019 due to focusing on “reducing costs while also making necessary system improvements and long-term investments in its infrastructure.”

Fortis added that rate increases have trended downward since 2014 and that it has shared $5 million in savings with its customers. Fortis also said the BCUC is also reviewing its request to phase out its two-tiered rate.

Notably, earlier this month, Fortis received BCUC approval for a natural gas rate hike, effective January 1st, 2019.

READ MORE: Opponents declare victory as Fortis moves to scrap two tier rate system

According to Fortis, here is the regional residential breakdown for its natural gas rate hike:

  • Residential customers in the Mainland and Vancouver Island service area will see an approximate overall annual increase of nine per cent or $68 based on an average annual usage of 90 gigajoules (GJ).
  • Residential customers in Fort Nelson will see an approximate annual increase of seven per cent or $51 based on an average annual usage of 125 GJ.
  • Residential customers in Revelstoke receiving piped propane will see an approximate annual decrease of 11 per cent or $108 based on an average annual usage of 50 GJ.

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