BC Hydro is offering to provide credits to customers evacuated due to the BC wildfires.
“We know many of our customers had to leave their homes quickly to get to safety,” says Jessica McDonald, BC Hydro’s president and CEO. “The last thing anyone is thinking about in a situation like that is turning off lights, electronics and appliances. We hope our Wildfire Evacuee Assistance Program will provide some financial relief during this challenging time.”
McDonald says the utility is working with local authorities to identify residential and commercial customers located in evacuation areas and will be applying an automatic credit to their account for any electricity used while they are forced to stay away from their homes due to evacuation orders.
The wildfires have caused power outages to about 7,000 customers and significant damage to BC Hydro’s system, including damage to 210 power poles, 93 cross-arms, 115 spans of wire and 33 transformers. About 100 BC Hydro crews, including crews from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, have been working around the clock to repair and replace equipment.
Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House have been hardest hit. About 170 customers remain without power as of this morning. Access to some areas is still limited due to fire activity and heavy smoke.
In addition to providing this credit, BC Hydro will work with customers who have been evacuated or placed on evacuation alert to defer bill payments, waive late payment charges and set-up a flexible payment plan. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) for more information.