BC Hydro has halted planned outages for residential areas across B.C. as COVID-19 keeps more people at home. (Photo via BC Hydro)

BC Hydro halts planned residential outages as COVID-19 keeps people at home

Utility company creates bill assistance program, crisis fund

BC Hydro has temporarily cancelled all non-emergency planned power outages for residential areas as the coronavirus outbreak leads to more people staying home.

On March 18, the utility company shared a province-wide update on the website explaining that BC Hydro recognizes that the ongoing COVID-19 situation is resulting in many customers spending more time at home for the foreseeable future and planned outages would be inconvenient.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus update: What’s happening right now in Canada

According to the BC Hydro website, planned outages are set for repairs, upgrades, maintenance, customer requests and adding new connections. Planned outages can be viewed on the online outage map.

The outages will be rescheduled at a later date and crews will continue to respond to unplanned outages as they happen and work to restore power quickly, explained BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk.

READ ALSO: BC Hydro to stop disconnections for those impacted by COVID-19

The hydro company also announced on March 13 that a COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program had been created to help customers experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We recognize the financial impact COVID-19 may have on our customers due to changes in employment from workplaces closing, or reducing staffing levels and want to provide some relief during this challenging time,” said BC Hydro president and CEO Chris O’Riley in a written statement.

READ ALSO: First responders adjust how they respond to emergencies in face of pandemic

He added that as some customers may receive higher utility bills due to more people working from home or self-isolating, the assistance program will allow them to rearrange or defer their payments.

Customers facing financial hardship due to job loss or illness may be eligible for the BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund, which provides grants of up to $600 to help with electrical bills.

Those interested in the assistance program or the crisis fund can call 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) or visit bchydro.com for more information.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

BCHydroCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vanderhoof has access to a water aerodrome again

Municipal council decomissioned the aerodrome last year citing liability concerns

Facebook Group created by Vanderhoof resident aims to battle individual needs during COVID-19

A new Facebook group started by a Vanderhoof resident has recently gained… Continue reading

Here’s what’s open in Vanderhoof

Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce is requesting the community to support local businesses… Continue reading

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read