Powering up

FortisBC Inc. has filed an application to raise rates for electricity customers in the area including Rossland with the BCUC.

Power rates for Rosslanders could be going up.

FortisBC Inc. has filed an application to raise rates for electricity customers in the area including Rossland with the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC).

In the application, FortisBC is applying for a five-year (2014-2018) performance-based regulatory plan and is requesting a 3.3 per cent increase for 2014.

“In this application, we’re trying to balance our customers’ need to minimize rate increases, while addressing rising power costs and paying for the necessary investment to the electrical system,” said John Walker, president and CEO of FortisBC.

FortisBC has undertaken several initiatives to find savings in its operation:

• saving on printing and postage by providing eBilling options for customers who prefer to receive their statements online,

• integrating with the company’s natural gas operations, resulting in a smaller, shared management team, and

• looking for ways to provide better service at lower cost by using technology.

FortisBC is also engaged in a review of the residential conservation rates.

A draft report is forthcoming that will be filed with the BCUC, which will include public input and will study the impact of a conservation rate on customers.

“While most customers benefit from the residential conservation rate, we are sensitive that some pay more. This report will provide a better understanding of the issues and impacts of the rate,” said Walker.