Update & Reminder Re: Comments on Electricity Rates

Following my complaints, BCUC agreed to send out their “request for comments” on two-tier electricity rates to more communities and to extend the deadline for comments to September 2, 2016 (below is the latest version of their request for comments). To-date, there have been 33 letters of comments officially received by BCUC from all across BC. We need to do better than that in order to get the Minister’s attention. If you haven’t sent in your letter of comment yet, it is very important that you do so prior to the revised deadline.

Some of you have had difficulties using BCUC’s letter of comment form. Assuming their website is working at that moment (sometimes it isn’t), you should take the following steps:

  • go to http://www.bcuc.com/Register-Letter-of-Comment.aspx
  • click on “letter of comment” just below the word “form:”
  • the letter of comment form will then download to your “download” folder; you can then go to your download folder and open it
  • you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it; if you don’t have that, you can download it from the same site where you downloaded the letter of comment
  • type your comments directly onto the letter of comment form and “save” it
  • attach the saved letter of comment form to an email and send it to: Secretary@bcuc.com
  • you can cc your MLA and the NDP Energy Critic: macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca

After BCUC officially accepts your letter, they will post it on their website. To view your letter or any of the letters sent in by others, go to: www.bcuc.com. Click on “current proceedings, then click on BCUC RIB Rate Report where under “E Exhibits – Letters of Comments” you will find all of the letters officially received by the BCUC in response to their request. To read any one of them, click on the Exhibit number and it will download to your download folder.

Nick Marty
BCUC Request for Comments
Residential two-tier electricity rates

Most residents in BC pay for electricity on a two-tier rate (known as a residential inclining block rate or a residential conservation rate). Under the two-tier rates, customers pay a lower price for electricity consumed up to a threshold and a higher price for electricity consumed above the threshold. These two-tier rates were implemented by BC Hydro and FortisBC between 2008 and 2012. Before the two-tier rates were implemented residents in BC paid one price for all electricity they consumed.
The BC Minister of Energy and Mines has asked the British Columbia Utilities Commission to report to the government on the impact of these two-tier rates on customers in regions without access to natural gas.

Request for your comments
If you are a residential electricity customer of BC Hydro or FortisBC and have no access to natural gas, the Commission is seeking your comments on:
• the impacts you have experienced or identified from the two-tier electricity rates; and
• your awareness of ways to mitigate any impacts.
Please provide your comments using the Commission’s Letter of Comment Form found online at http://www.bcuc.com/Register-Letter-of-Comment.aspx. All comments must be received in writing. By providing a letter of comment in this process, you agree to your comments being placed on the public record and posted on the Commission’s website. Please send your written comments by email or mail to the Commission Secretary on or before Friday, September 2, 2016 at:
Email: Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com
Mail: Ms. Laurel Ross
Acting Commission Secretary
BC Utilities Commission
Sixth Floor, 900 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2N3
All of the documents related to this matter are available on the Commission’s website at: http://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=506
For more information please contact the Commission using the contact information above or by phone at 1-800-663-1385.