(BC Hydro)This winter got off to a cold start in B.C. Early November saw Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Princeton, Penticton, Campbell River, Tofino, Whistler and Hope all breaking cold temperature records. Cold weather means we’re all using more electricity too; the second half of December 2017 had peak electricity demand that was above the previous 10-year average.
Our meteorologists are forecasting the next couple of months will continue to bring below-average temperatures.
And what lower temperatures typically mean is higher electricity bills – especially for those using electric heat. Residential energy usage increases, on average, by 88% in the winter months.
We know any increase in bills can make this time of year more stressful and difficult to manage household finances – and we’re here to help.
Just like last year, we’re offering a winter payment plan program to help make it easier to manage your winter bills.
You can take up to six months to pay a winter bill by requesting payment arrangements
If you’ve received a higher than expected winter bill that you’re unable to pay, you’ll be able to request payment arrangements to make regular payments on the amount owing for up to six months.
- Winter payment plans are available for bills issued from December 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Look for your billing date on your bill to be sure.
- You’ll need to call in to request arrangements before the due date listed on your bill – don’t wait until a bill is overdue.
How to request payment arrangements: call our customer team
Give our customer team a call if you want to make payment arrangements for a winter bill, or explore other payment options for your account. We can get things set up and discuss arrangements specifically for your situation.
Give us a call at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376).
- Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Closed Sundays and holidays
Other ways to manage bills: auto-pay scheduled payments, equal payments
There are other ways we can help you ensure that you’re managing your BC Hydro bills throughout the year.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you’ve set up a payment plan with our team, you can set up pre-scheduled automatic payments online through bchydro.com to ensure you stay on track with your payments.
- For customers with electric heat, our equal payment plan is a great option. This lets you pay the same amount each month, which typically means higher winter bills are spread out through the rest of the year. You’ll be able to keep track of how much electricity you’re using and how much you’re paying on each bill.
- For income-qualifying customers, you may be eligible to receive a free kit of energy-saving products such as LED bulbs and weatherstripping that can save you energy and money all year long. We’ve increased funding for our conservation programs for low-income customers to deliver more support – we’re spending about $10 million on these programs over the next three years.
- Consider tracking your electricity use with MyHydro; you can see when you’re using the most power and find ways to save.
- And finally, if you’re finding that heating is the biggest driver behind a higher winter bill, check out 10 things you might not know about baseboard heaters to ensure you’re using yours as efficiently as you can.