Fortis dumping two-tiered rate

Fortis dumping two-tiered rate


FortisBC is doing away with the two-tiered rate.

Bills are expected to go up for some people and down for others.

“Returning to a flat rate provides annual savings for about 30 per cent of customers who had higher bills under the two-tiered system,” according to Fortis. But, “It could also mean moderate bill increases for lower use customers who saved under the two-tiered system,” according to Fortis, which claims the move is revenue neutral.

Instead of charging heavy consumers a higher rate after they cross a certain threshold, everyone will soon pay the same rate for electricity. Currently – until the new rates get phased in – users have to pay more for electricity after consuming 1,600 kilowatt hours (kWh) over two months.

“We’re satisfied with this result,” said Diane Roy, Fortis’ VP of regulatory affairs. “During the rate design process, we heard from many residential customers with concerns about the two-tiered rate, particularly those with high energy needs and limited conservation options. A gradual return to a flat rate balances the interests of our residential customers.”

The two-tiered rate was implemented in 2012, and has been criticized for disproportionately affecting rural residents.

“Helping customers reduce their bills remains a priority for FortisBC,” said Roy. “We continue to enhance our energy saving programs, especially those that support customers on the tightest budgets, and we encourage all customers to contact us if they need help.”

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