NEWS RELEASE – BCUC Establishes Public Review Process for BC Hydros Year One Evaluation of the Customer Crisis Fund

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On July 31, 2019, the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) filed its Year One Evaluation Report for the Customer Crisis Fund (CCF) Pilot Program as well as its CCF Rate Rider Amendment Application seeking an interim rate reduction for the CCF program.

Per Order G-194-19, the BCUC approved amending the CCF Rate Rider from $0.25 per month to $0.13 per month, effective October 1, 2019. The BCUC has now suspended further review of the BC Hydro CCF Rate Rider Amendment Application pending the outcome of the CCF Year One Evaluation Report proceeding. The BCUC has established a public proceeding (Order G-195-19), to review the Year One Evaluation Report that includes an opportunity for public comment and participation.

There are a number of ways to participate in the review process, outlined below.

  • Submit a letter of comment: Members of the public can submit a letter of comment online. Letters of comment are intended for any member of the public to contribute views, opinions, and impact or potential impact, with respect to a matter before the BCUC, to the public record.
  • Request intervener status by Monday, November 18, 2019: Persons who are directly or sufficiently affected by the BCUC’s decision or have relevant information or expertise, and who wish to actively participate in the proceeding, can request intervener status by submitting a completed Request to Intervene Form online.
  • Register as an interested party: Interested parties can register online to receive email updates on the proceeding.

For more information, please see the BC Hydro Year One Evaluation Report here.

Background

BC Hydro’s CCF Pilot Program was designed to offer financial relief to residential customers who fall behind on paying their BC Hydro bills as a result of a temporary financial crisis, such as a loss of employment, unanticipated medical expenses or a death in the family.

The program was created after BCUC’s extensive public review of BC Hydro 2015 Rate Design Application. During the review, the BC Old Age Pensioners’ Organization et al. requested a program to assist low-income customers who have debts with BC Hydro and are unable to pay their electricity bills. 

In July 2017, BC Hydro filed a separate application to establish the Customer Crisis Fund on a pilot program basis, as ordered to by the BCUC. 

After an open and transparent process to review the application, by Order G-166-17, the BCUC approved the CCF Pilot Program, with a directive for BC Hydro to file an evaluation report with the BCUC within 90 days of the completion of the second year. After significant complaints, the BCUC amended the Order for the report to be submitted after the first year. 

About the BCUC
The BCUC is a regulatory agency responsible for the oversight of energy utilities and compulsory auto insurance in British Columbia. It is the BCUC’s role to balance the interests of customers with the interests of the businesses it regulates. The BCUC carries out fair and transparent reviews of matters within its jurisdiction and considers public input where public interest is impacted.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Krissy Van Loon
Manager, Communications
Phone: 604.660.4727
Email: Krissy.VanLoon@bcuc.com

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