The BCUC approves COVID-19 Customer Relief Programs for BC Hydro, Fortis Energy Inc., and FortisBC

Today, following a web-based Streamlined Review Process, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), approved applications from BC Hydro, Fortis Energy Inc. (FEI) and FortisBC Inc. (FBC) to provide Customer Relief Programs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is believed to be Canada’s first ever fully digital energy regulatory hearing process.

The applications submitted by BC Hydro, FEI and FBC were reviewed in a web-based Streamlined Review Process by the BCUC on Monday, April 6, 2020 in an effort to respect social distancing practices, and expedite the review of these applications to provide timely relief to customers.

Following the reviews, per Order G-79-20, the BCUC granted approval to BC Hydro for COVID-19 relief measures to its residential, and specific classes of eligible commercial and industrial customers who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the directions in Order in Council No. 159. In addition, BC Hydro received BCUC approval, in accordance with the directions in Order in Council No. 159, for changes to certain regulatory accounts to enable its implementation of relief measures to address customers’ concern relating to COVID-19.

The BCUC also granted interim approval to FEI and FBC to provide relief to qualifying residential and commercial customers who are impacted by COVID-19. A further public process per Order G-80-20 and Order G-81-20 has now been established to review the Application.

More information about BC Hydro’s application is available here, and more information on FEI and FBC’s application is available here.

Background
On April 3, 2020, the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) filed an application with the BCUC for its coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Relief Program (Application), pursuant to the Direction to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Respecting COVID-19, as issued by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on April 2, 2020 (Order in Council No. 159). More information about BC Hydro’s application, is available here.

On April 3, 2020, FEI and FBC, filed an application with the BCUC for approval to provide relief to qualifying residential and commercial customers who are impacted by COVID-19. More information on FEI and FBC’s application is available here.

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