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FortisBC offers 3-month bill deferral to residential customers hit by COVID-19

FortisBC utility announces financial relief for customers affected by pandemic economic downturn
FortisBC received interim approval from the BC Utilities Commission to implement its COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund, a program that provides new support measures for residential and small business customers who are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Fund will be available to natural gas, propane and electric customers.

FortisBC says residential customers facing financial hardship due to the novel coronavirus pandemic can now defer their bills until June 30.

The company announced the COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund Tuesday, which will allow affected customers to repay their account balance over the period of a year, with no interest charges.

READ MORE: COVID-19: BC Hydro customers to get three months of bill relief

The program covers electricity, natural gas and propane customers.

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Qualifying BC Hydro customers, by contrast, are being offered a three-month credit for their power bill.

BC Hydro customers given break during hard times, FortisBC electricity customers only told they won’t be charged interest
BC Hydro customers given break during hard times, FortisBC electricity customers only told they won’t be charged interest

FortisBC says small businesses that have been forced to close will be offered bill credits to offset charges to their accounts while they’re shuttered.

Businesses that are still open can apply for a 90 day bill deferral.

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READ MORE: Here’s who’s eligible and how to apply for Canada’s coronavirus wage subsidy

The company says it will continue to monitor the pandemic, and may extend one-on-one support to individual customers once the 90-day period is up.

Additional supports could include extending interest-free payment arrangements, providing bill credits or even payment forgiveness, said FortisBC.