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

Fire restrictions in Tofino and Ucluelet

“It is visitors and residents alike that struggle with this one on a yearly basis.”

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

CARE Network opens new dog daycare facility near Tofino-Long Beach Airport

“Through and through, this community keeps showing how compassionate they are.”

West Coast company brings virtual whale watching experience to youth with disabilities

About 40 Easter Seals BC/Yukon children, youth and adults with disabilities were… Continue reading

Visitors and non-residents entering closed Hesquiaht territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read