Non-payment disconnections in winter

We understand that sometimes it can be hard to pay your bills. To help everyone in B.C. stay warm in winter, we postpone non-payment disconnections for our residential customers from November 1 to March 31, when the weather is coldest.

Here's how it'll work in different parts of B.C.

Lower Mainland & Vancouver Island

From November 1 to March 31, you won't be disconnected for non-payment if the forecasted daily average temperature for the next 24 hours is below 0 degrees Celsius. When it warms up, you'll be disconnected if you still haven't paid your bill or made a payment arrangement with us.

Rest of B.C.

If you live outside the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, you won't be disconnected for non-payment between November 1 and March 31. If you don't pay your bill, you'll still continue to receive payment notices, late payment charges and could be assessed a security deposit. Disconnections for non-payment start again on April 1. If you're disconnected, you'll have to pay the full outstanding balance to resume your electricity service.

What you can do to keep your costs down

We have information and tools online to help you manage and monitor your electricity use. To view and manage your account online, create a profile and link to your account at bchydro.com/login.

Use only the electricity you need and pay whatever you can to avoid unnecessary debt and late payment charges. If your unpaid balance is over $30, a late payment charge of 1.5% per month (19.56% per year) of your entire outstanding balance will still be added to your account.

Having trouble paying your BC Hydro bill? There are a number of payment programs available that can help.

Frequently asked questions

Keeping rates affordable and predictable benefits all of our customers. When customers don't pay their bills, we incur costs that are passed on to all customers through rate increases. When accounts are past due, we attempt to contact customers by mail, email or phone calls to pay the outstanding balance. However, if the outstanding balance is not paid in full or a payment arrangement isn't made with us, we have no choice but to disconnect service to protect other customers from higher costs.

All residential customers are eligible. Disconnections are delayed, either based on temperature or for the entire winter, depending on where you live.

Business customers that are past due for non-payment and service locations that are vacant because no one had signed up for electricity service (e.g. no BC Hydro account) will still be disconnected.

No. If your unpaid balance was over $30, a late payment charge of 1.5% per month (19.56% per year) of your entire outstanding balance will still be added to your account.

The Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are typically warmer than the rest of B.C. and don't usually have extended periods of colder weather that require increased electricity usage for heating.

For the purposes of the delayed disconnections in winter for non-payment, the Lower Mainland area includes Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, the North Shore (including Whistler and Pemberton) and Fraser Valley (including Chilliwack, and Hope). The Vancouver Island area includes Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands.

See a complete map [PDF, 630 KB].

Once the temperature reached 0 degrees Celsius and the average temperature is forecasted to be 0 degrees Celsius or above for the next 24 hours, your account will be disconnected if the outstanding balance is not paid in full or you haven't made a payment arrangement with us.

We want to ensure you're aware of the status of your account so that you can make informed decisions. Even though you may not be disconnected for non-payment from November 1 to March 31, your account's balance owing will continue to accumulate, is still subject to late payment charges and could be charged a security deposit.

No. Payment of the overdue balance must be paid before your account can be reconnected.

No. If you haven't paid your overdue balance, you may be disconnected without further notice.

If you have an overdue balance that you're unable to pay, call us at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to make a payment arrangement. We're available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.