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B.C. residents to pay more for hydro starting April 1

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British Columbia residents will pay an average of $2 more per month for hydro power starting Saturday.

BC Hydro says effective April 1, residential electricity rates will rise by two per cent, or about $2 per month on average, following an interim rate-hike approval by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

The rate increase is part of a three-year rate application that, if approved by the BCUC, will still mark a period of the lowest rate increases in B.C. over the past 15 years, according to a statement Friday from the utility.

BC Hydro reduced its residential rates by 1.4 per cent last year. In 2024, the Crown utility expects to increase its rates again by 2.7 per cent.

"Over the three-year period, it works out to an average rate increase of 1.1 per cent per year," the statement from BC Hydro said. "This is below forecast inflation in B.C. over this period."

The utility says its electricity rates remain among the lowest in North America while still supporting electrification investments, cybersecurity, vegetation management and new projects that decrease B.C.'s dependence on fossil fuels.

"BC Hydro encourages customers to reach out to us to come up with a plan if they are having trouble paying their BC Hydro bill," the utility said.

The power company offers grants of up to $600 through its Customer Crisis Fund for those in temporary financial crisis, as well as flexible, interest-free payment plans that allow a customer to defer a payment or pay the overdue amount over time.

More information on the billing relief program is available here.

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