Two-tiered system penalizing folks in northern B.C.

Cariboo Regional District urges residents to oppose electricity rate system

Cariboo Regional District directors are opposed to the electricity rate system in British Columbia that penalizes northern residents.

During their regular meeting on Nov. 4, the CRD board passed a resolution strongly disagreeing with how rural customers living in northern climates are penalized under the two-tiered rate system.

BC Hydro and FortisBC have submitted reports on the impacts of the Residential Inclining Block Rate to the BC Utilities Commission. The BC Utilities Commission is now requesting comments on those reports.

CRD directors reviewed the reports and strongly disagrees with the premises expressed. As a result, the regional district will be submitting a comment to the commission expressing its concerns and its disagreement with the reports from BC Hydro and FortisBC.

The board maintains the current system for electricity rates is unfair for rural customers in northern climates who have higher rates of electricity use simply due to their geographic location and the harsher realities of winter.

The directors adds electricity rates should take into consideration the average electricity consumption for northern climates and customers should not be penalized with high rates for living in a northern climate.

The board also is concerned the two-tier electricity rates are a hardship for low-income residents.

The CRD is also urging residents to read the reports and submit their comments to the BC Utilities Commission.

Residents can provide comments by mail, e-mail or through the Commission’s Letter of Comment Form found online at bcuc.com/Register-Letter-of-Comment. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 24, 2016.

The reports, titled BC Hydro Utility Report and FortisBC Utility Report, can be found on the Commission’s website at bcuc.com under Current Proceedings BCUC RIB Rate Report Hearing and Other Documents or bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?Applicationld=506.

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