If you or someone you know has been directly impacted by COVID-19 in a financial sense, then listen up. BC Hydro has recently announced that they will be helping customers by offering deferred billing at this time. All BC Hydro customers are eligible to apply and you can even discuss a flexible payment plan should you be unemployed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. You could even be eligible for a $600 grant to help pay your bills.
As COVID-19 becomes more end more prominent around the globe, local governments and officials are taking precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus.
One of the measures is closing down certain businesses.
While B.C. government isn’t forcing the closure of businesses quite yet, some places have taken it upon themselves to close due to COVID-19. Because of this, many people have temporarily lost their jobs.
BC Hydro has recognized that at this scary time, bills still need to be paid.
Since it can be difficult to allocate money towards things like power, the service provider is aiming to help its customers.
According to an email sent to Narcity by BC Hydro, they are introducing a COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program to help those customers who may be experiencing financial hardship during the outbreak.
"We recognize the financial impact COVID-19 may have on our customers due to changes in employment from workplaces closing, or reducing staffing levels and want to provide some relief during this challenging time," said Chris O'Riley, BC Hydro President and Chief Executive Officer.
"In addition, some customers may experience higher electricity bills due to increased consumption from spending more time at home.”
The company recognizes that because more and more people are spending time at home, residential customers may be facing higher than normal electrical bills.
Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging all Canadians to stay home and help fight the COVOD-19 outbreak.
Because of this, the COVID-19 assistance plan is providing customers with the option to defer bill payments for the time being.
Customers may also arrange for a more flexible payment plan with no penalty.
BC Hydro has confirmed with Narcity that all BC Hydro residential customers are eligible for this program. Anyone interested in taking advantage of it can call customer service at 1-800-BCHYDRO to discuss your own personal needs.
Each individual case will be different and bill deferral lengths and payment plans will be determined by you and your customer service provider, dependant on your situation.
At this time, BC Hydro has taken extra steps to protect its staff and facilities by closing its customer walk-in service desk. In order to apply for a payment deferral, all interested customers must call.
In addition to the program, they have created a Customer Crisis Fund where customers are eligible for up to $600 in grants to pay BC Hydro bills.
In order to be eligible for this grant, you must be a residential account holder and have overdue payments with the risk of facing disconnection.
You must also have experienced a life event in the last 12 months that has caused a temporary financial crisis.
Applications for the grant can be filled out online through the BC Hydro website.