Here's what we're doing in response to COVID-19
Last updated: July 1, 2020
As an essential service in the province with many critical assets, we're taking steps to protect our staff and facilities to ensure we're continuing to provide reliable power to our customers.
Our top priority is the safety of our workers, contractors and members of the public and we’re committed to helping our customers while ensuring our employees and facilities remain safe during challenging times.
We're continuing to monitor the situation closely and will implement new measures as the situation progresses based on information and advice provided by health authorities. Learn more about our COVID-19 safety plan.
COVID-19 resulted in financial hardship for many of our customers, particularly those that experienced job loss, had to close their businesses, or were otherwise unable to work. To support our customers, we provided the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The fund was available from April 1 to June 30, 2020 and it provided eligible residential and small business customers with three months of financial relief on their BC Hydro bill. The program is now closed.
For customers who weren't eligible for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, we offered the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program, which allowed you to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. This program is closed as of June 30, 2020.
Although these programs have closed, we're still here to help. If you had overdue payments and were facing disconnection prior to any additional financial hardship that arose from COVID-19, you may be eligible for a Customer Crisis Fund grant of up to $600.
If you've fallen behind on bill payments, we encourage you to set up a flexible, catch-up payment plan by calling our customer service team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376).
To support customers who've been financially impacted by the pandemic, we stopped disconnections for non-payment as of mid-March. If you're having trouble paying your bill, please give us a call at 1 800 224 9376 to arrange for a flexible payment plan.
Out of an abundance of caution, we've isolated key areas, including our control centre. To reduce exposure and face-to-face interactions, we've temporarily closed our walk-in customer service desks and indefinitely suspended all non-essential business travel, public meetings and site tours, including closing our Powerhouse at Stave Falls Visitor Centre and Campbell River Hydroelectric Facilities Discovery Centre.
Our recreation areas closed in late March due to a high concentration of visitors and the need to adhere to the provincial health order on large gatherings due to COVID-19. We're now taking a staged approach to safely reopening our recreation sites and campgrounds across the province.
We've begun reopening day-use recreation sites and facilities that allow for physical distancing. Some recreation sites and campgrounds that attract larger crowds remain closed for the time being.
New safety measures in place
We're implementing new safety measures including physical distancing signage, increased cleaning, limits to the amount of visitors and parking allowed, and reduced hours of operation at some of our most popular recreation sites.
If planning a visit to our recreation sites, we're asking you to:
- Stay close to home and only visit recreation sites in your community.
- Follow physical distancing requirements outlined by the Public Health Officer.
- Bring hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to practice safe hygiene.
- Stay home if you're sick.
Visitors need to take personal responsibility for their own safety, which includes washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently and refraining from touching surfaces unnecessarily. Learn more.
COVID-19 has created a new situation where our homes serve a variety of functions, from an office to a classroom, so we recognize the importance of minimizing planned outages. Prior to proceeding with a planned outage, we'll review it to ensure there's an imminent need for the outage to take place.
We’ve also adjusted some of our other operations related to electrical connections and outages. Learn about these changes here.
As always, our crews will continue to respond to all outages and restore power as soon as possible. We ask that if you see our crews and contractors out in the field, please respect social distancing measures and maintain a physical distance of at least two metres.
Some customers have reported receiving calls threatening disconnection from fake BC Hydro employees. We’ve stopped disconnections during the COVID-19 pandemic and we ask that you report these fraudulent calls to your local police department.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, contractors and members of the public. We have been monitoring COVID-19 closely and have been taking appropriate action as the situation evolves. Please find the latest updates here.
Our EV charging network continues to operate, but we're making some temporary changes based on the evolving COVID-19 situation.
- Please charge at home if possible – this helps reduces risk of spread at public stations
- 24/7 phone support still available – we're currently still offering 24/7 support when you need it
- Keep physical distance from BC Hydro staff – if you see a BC Hydro team member at a station, maintain a physical distance of 10 metres if possible
- Bring your own wipes or gloves – we're unable to wipe down our stations across the province. Use your own wipes or gloves if you're not able to wash your hands before and after use.
- Repairs may be delayed – stations that require repairs may be delayed due to prioritization of other critical infrastructure, so please check PlugShare ahead of time
- Maintain physical distance from other EV drivers – please follow advice from provincial health authorities and maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from other drivers at the stations
- Some stations may close – our stations in national parks and some municipal stations may have their access closed due to local, provincial or national restrictions. Check PlugShare ahead of time.
Get the latest on our EV charging network at ev.bchydro.com.