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B.C. electricity affordability credit

The Government of B.C. announced on February 22, 2024 that eligible BC Hydro customers will receive an electricity affordability credit to help reduce their electricity costs over the next year.

The credit amount will vary based on an individual customer's annual electricity consumption.

Learn more about the credit:

For residential customers

The credit amount will be automatically calculated based on your electricity consumption over the past year. For the average residential customer, this will be around $100 in savings.

The credit amount will be applied to your bills over the next 12 months starting on your first bill after April 15, 2024. The credit will appear as a line item in your bill details once it's been applied.

You're eligible for the credit if you have an active account as of March 31, 2024.

Your account must be on an eligible residential rate:

  • Residential Conservation Rate (Rate Schedules 1101 and 1121),
  • Exempt Residential Service Rate (Rate Schedules 1151 and 1161), 
  • Residential E-Plus Rate (Rate Schedule 1105), or
  • Residential Rate – Zone II (Rate Schedules 1107, 1127 and 1148).

If you're on the Residential Conservation Rate (Rate Schedule 1101 and 1121), the total credit to be provided over the year is based on your Step 1 energy charges billed from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024. The total Step 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage is multiplied by 1.66 cents per kWh to determine the total credit amount.

For example, if the total Step 1 kWh billed was 6,110 kWh, then the credit would be $101.43 (6,110 kWh multiplied by 1.66 cents per kWh).

If you're on a different residential rate, the credit is based on your basic charges and energy charges billed from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024, multiplied by 4.6%.

The credit will be applied in installments on bills over the next 12 months after April 15, 2024.

  • Customers with bi-monthly billing will receive the bill credit in six installments.
  • Customers with monthly billing will receive the bill credit in 12 installments.

The amount of each installment may vary depending on the number of days in your billing period, since the credit is applied to each bill on a per-day basis.

Bill credits will be applied on eligible customers' accounts after April 15, 2024. The first credit you'll receive will include credits accumulating as of April 1, 2024.

Some customers don't reach the Step 2 threshold or reach the Step 2 threshold infrequently. Basing the credit on only Step 1 electricity used ensures the fairest distribution amongst all residential customers on this rate.

Your bill credit will be calculated based on the date you opened your account through March 31, 2024.

The affordability bill credit will be applied to each eligible account that remains open after April 1, 2024.

If your additional account was eligible but was closed on or prior to March 31, 2024, the credit will be included in the total credit applied to your current active account.

The affordability bill credit is based on your actual electricity charges for the 12 months of billing prior to March 31, 2024. The average total credit for each residential account is $100 but will be less if:

  • Your electricity use was less than the average of all residential customers, or
  • You opened your account after April 1, 2023 and don't have a full year of electricity use to include in the calculation of the credit.

If you move and open a new account at your new residence, you'll receive the remaining bill credit on your new account.

If you close your account (and don't open a new account), the remaining credit will be applied on your final bill and used to reduce the balance owing. Any remaining credit will remain on your account in case you open a new account in the future.

If you close your account after April 1, 2024 and have another active account, the remaining credit will be transferred and the installments on that account will be adjusted to reflect the remaining credit from the closed account.

Accounts are only eligible if they were open on March 31, 2024, except if you were moving (closing another eligible account) and there was a gap in service of no more than ten days.

For business and industrial customers

The average business and industrial customer will receive savings of up to 4.6% of your electricity consumption to help reduce your operating costs. For the average small business customer, this will be around $400 in savings over the year.

The credit will be automatically calculated and applied to your BC Hydro bills over the next 12 months, starting on your first bill after April 15, 2024. The credit will appear as a line item in your bill details once it's been applied.

You're eligible for the credit if you have an active account as of March 31, 2024.

Your account must be on an eligible rate:

  • Small General Service Rate (Rate Schedule 1300, 1301, 1310, and 1311),
  • Medium General Service Rate (Rate Schedule 1500, 1501, 1510, and 1511),
  • Large General Service Rate (Rate Schedule 1600, 1601, 1610, and 1611),
  • Overnight Rate (Rate Schedule 1640, 1641, 1642, and 1643),
  • Demand Transition Rate (Rate Schedule 1650, 1651, 1652, and 1653),
  • Irrigation Rate (Rate Schedule 1401),
  • Exempt General Service Rate (Rate Schedule 1200, 1201, 1210, and 1211),
  • Small General Service Rate – Zone II (Rate Schedule 1234),
  • General Service Rate – Zone II (Rate Schedule 1255, 1256, 1265 and 1266),
  • Overhead Street Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1701),
  • Public Area Ornamental Street Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1702),
  • Street Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1703),
  • Traffic Control Rate (Rate Schedule 1704), or
  • Private Outdoor Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1755).

Transmission customers must be on one of these eligible rates:

  • Stepped Rate (Rate Schedule 1823)
  • Time-of-Use Rate (Rate Schedule 1825)
  • Exempt Customer Rate (Rate Schedule 1827)
  • Biomass Energy Program Rate (Rate Schedule 1828)
  • Flat Rate (Rate Schedule 1830)
  • Modified Demand Rate (Rate Schedule 1852)
  • Shore Power Rate (Rate Schedule 1891)
  • Clean B.C. Industrial Electrification Rate – Clean Industry & Innovation (Rate Schedule 1894)
  • Clean B.C. Industrial Electrification Rate – Fuel Switching (Rate Schedule 1895)
  • FortisBC Inc. Rate (Rate Schedule 3808)

The credit is based on your basic charges, energy charges and demand charges billed from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024, multiplied by 4.6%. The credit for street light accounts also includes the monthly fixture charge where applicable.

For example, if the total of the basic charges, energy charges and demand charges billed was $14,579.90, then the credit would be $670.68 ($14,579.90 multiplied by 4.6%).

The credit will be applied in installments on bills over the next 12 months after April 15, 2024.

  • Customers with bi-monthly billing will receive the bill credit in six installments.
  • Customers with monthly billing will receive the bill credit in 12 installments.

The amount of each installment may vary depending on the number of days in your billing period, since the credit is applied to each bill on a per-day basis.

Bill credits will be applied on eligible customers' accounts after April 15, 2024. The first credit you'll receive will include credits accumulating as of April 1, 2024.

Your bill credit will be calculated based on the date you opened your account through March 31, 2024.

The affordability bill credit will be applied to each eligible account that remains open after April 1, 2024.

If any of your eligible business accounts were closed on or prior to March 31, 2024, the credit will be included in the total credit applied to your current active account.

If you moved your business and open a new business account at a new address, you'll receive the remaining bill credit on your new account.

If you close your account (and don't open a new account), the remaining credit will be applied on your final bill and used to reduce the balance owing. Any remaining credit will remain on your account in case you open a new account in the future.

If you close your account after April 1, 2024 and have another active account, the remaining credit will be transferred and the installments on that account will be adjusted to reflect the remaining credit from the closed account.

Accounts are only eligible if they were open on March 31, 2024, except if you were moving (closing another eligible account) and there was a gap in service of no more than ten days.

If you're account is on the Irrigation Rate (Rate Schedule 1401), your credit will be applied in installments on your next three bills, starting with the mid-season bill, typically sent in July.

General information and scam warning

There's no action required from you to receive this credit.

Be wary of scams. Scammers use a variety of tactics including text message and emails claiming to be from BC Hydro or Interac to offer credits, or refunds or rebates. They ask you to click on a link and provide your banking information.

If you'd like to verify that you've received the credit, you can check your next bill after April 15, 2024, to see that it's been applied.

If you're ever unsure about whether a communication from BC Hydro is legitimate, don't click any links or open any files sent to you. Call our customer service team at 1 800 224 9376 for clarification.

How the credit is calculated depends on the rate your account is on.

For customers on the Residential Conservation Rate (Rate Schedule 1101 and 1121), credits are calculated based on the total Step 1 electricity use for the 12 months preceding the bill issued on or before March 31, 2024.

For customers on other rates, credits are calculated based on the components of the rate schedules as shown in the Electric Tariff. These usually include the basic charge, energy charge and demand charge.

Charges not included in the rate schedules are not part of the credit calculation; for example, power factor surcharges, connection charges and late payment charges.

Net metering (Rate Schedule 1289) is an add-on rate that is applied in addition to the base residential or general service rate. Your eligibility, and the calculation of the bill credit, is dependent on the base rate for your account.

Credits are calculated on your actual billed energy charges for your account over the past year. For net metering customers, billed energy charges are net of electricity you've delivered to BC Hydro.

The year-end settlement, if applicable, isn't included in the credit calculation and doesn't affect the credit amount.

No. The credit is applied after the calculation of GST to reduce the balance owing to BC Hydro.

The approach is to provide an ongoing credit over the next year to reduce electricity costs as they arise.

Applying bill credits is administratively more efficient.

The B.C. Electricity Affordability Credit will not affect current or future electricity rates as they're independently set by the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC).

You're also eligible for the credit if you receive electricity service indirectly from BC Hydro through FortisBC, the City of New Westminster, and most other municipal utilities.

The credit will be provided by your utility (not BC Hydro), and may be applied differently.

You aren't eligible if you purchase electricity through a private utility or reseller.

If you're having trouble keeping up with your BC Hydro bills, we offer several programs to help, such as a grant payment through our Customer Crisis Fund.