Stories & Features

Special 2016/2017 Winter Payment Plan program makes it easier to manage winter bills

Snowy home exterior heat pump
Customers have access to winter payment arrangements that will allow them to pay a higher winter bill over a 6-month period.

If you're concerned about paying a higher than usual electricity bill, give our customer team a call

Customers across B.C. have been dealing with much colder than average temperatures this year. In Vancouver, it's cold enough that outdoor skating is possible on ponds and lakes for the first time in 20 years.

And throughout the province, we've seen huge dips in temperature and sustained cold fronts. All this cold weather means higher than ever electricity usage; a 10-year record for peak electricity demand was broken on January 3.

We know that what this means for many of our customers is higher than ever electricity bills. When the temperature goes down, usage goes up; residential energy consumption can increase by an average of 88% during winter months.

That's why we're announcing a new option to help customers manage higher winter bills, by implementing a payment plan program that allows you the choice to spread bill payments over a six-month period.

Customers can have up to six months to pay winter bills by requesting payment arrangements

If you've received a higher than expected winter bill that you're unable to pay, you'll be able to request payment arrangements to make regular payments on the amount owing for up to six months.

  • Winter payment plans are available for bills issued from December 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. Look for your billing date on your bill to be sure.
  • You'll need to call in to request arrangements before the due date listed on your bill – don't wait until a bill is overdue.
  • All residential customers are eligible to make winter bill payment arrangements, regardless of your location, home type, or bill amount.

How to request payment arrangements: call our customer team

To set up the six-month payment arrangements for higher winter bills, you'll need to speak to our customer team so they can set up arrangements specifically for your account.

Give our customer team a call at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376):

  • Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays and holidays

Once you've set up a payment plan with our team, you can set up pre-scheduled automatic payments online through bchydro.com to ensure you stay on track with your payments.

Tips to manage your winter bills and keep electricity costs down

There are lots of ways that you can manage your electricity costs through the year and reduce your electricity bills.

Start by tracking your electricity usage online – you can see when you're using the most power and find ways to save. Typically, winter bills see the biggest increase due to space heating costs, followed by water heating.

To save energy, always turn your thermostats down at night when you're sleeping, and consider lowering the heat all the time in rooms you don't use or when you are away. Heating costs rise about 5% for every degree above 20°C (68°F) that you set your thermostats.

Use your electric baseboard heaters, space heaters, and thermostats effectively and you can have a big impact on your bills.

Equal payment plans allow you to pay the same amount each month, typically spreading higher winter costs out over the year.