FortisBC provides electricity directly to customers in Kelowna, the South Okanagan and the Boundary-West Kootenay regions of B.C., and indirectly to customers in Summerland, Penticton, Grand Forks and Nelson. (Tonyglen14/Flickr)

Boundary electricity rates up one per cent for 2020

FortisBC said the increase would amount to a little over one dollar extra per residential customer

Boundary residents can expect to pay a bit more on their electricity bills this year, after FortisBC announced last month that it would be increasing general rates by one per cent for 2020, in what the company called an “interim increase.”

According to a media release from the utility, the average household will pay $13.42 more for electricity this year.

“This is a relatively modest increase and the first since 2017,” said Diane Roy the company’s vice-president of regulatory affairs, in the release. “Increases are needed to cover increased costs we incur to provide service to our customers, and to monitor, update and invest in the system while reflecting our ongoing efforts to operate efficiently and carefully balance costs.”

The increase comes as the company continues to phase out a two-tiered rate scheme for residential customers, gradually bringing the two rates together by 2023.

For 2020, the higher tier will decrease two-thirds of a cent per kilowatt-hour while the lower tier will increase by 0.4 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“We recognize that any changes to rates can be a concern for some customers and we have a number of tools and programs to assist, Roy said. “We encourage customers to get in touch with us if they have questions or need assistance.”

FortisBC customers can monitor and track their electricity use online to see how their consumption of energy impacts their bill.

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