Hydroâ€™s E-Plus program to stay but cost going up
October 27, 2007
NANAIMO, B.C. BC Hydro’s plan to phase-out the E-Plus electricity rate has been denied by BC Utilities Commission (BCUC), the regulatory agency overseeing BC Hydro, in a ruling made yesterday (Oct 26, 2007).
E-Plus, a special low rate for heating homes, was introduced in the late 1980â€™s when BC had a surplus of electricity. In return for the low price, BC Hydro had the right to interrupt the power used by the homeâ€™s heating system, requiring the customer to use their back-up heat.
BCUC also instructed Hydro to charge the E-Plus users what it actually costs Hydro.
â€œPrices for those users are likely going to move upward very significantlyâ€, said Ludo Bertsch of Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island, a non-profit energy association. â€œDepending upon how Hydro calculates it, those rates could suddenly jump by, say, 50%. Nobody knows for sure.â€
How will people respond to much higher heating bills? â€œNow is the time for homeowners to invest in energy efficiency such as better insulation, windows, heat pumps and higher quality thermostats,â€ said President Ian Gartshore.
â€œHydro could also introduce much stronger and innovative Power Smart energy efficiency programs to help with the transition,â€ he added.
The E-Plus increase would not affect the rate for other users, nor for the non-heating portion of E-Plus bills.
Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island (Society)
353 Seventh St.
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