The Government of British Columbia and BC Hydro are giving some extra help to B.C. residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Residential customers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 will receive a credit to help cover the cost of their electricity bills.

The credit will be three times their average monthly bill over the past year at their home and does not have to be repaid.

Customers need to provide proof of job loss or inability to work and apply by June 30.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. People are out of work, and businesses are facing tough choices about whether they can stay open,” said Premier John Horgan.

“Giving people relief on their power bills lets them focus on the essentials while helping businesses and encouraging critical industry to keep operating.”

In addition, smaller businesses that have been forced to close will have their power bills forgiven for three months, from April to June.

Major industries, like pulp and paper mills and mines, will also have the option to defer 50% of their bill payments for three months.

“People who have lost their jobs or are unable to work due to COVID-19 shouldn’t have to choose between paying their rent or mortgage and paying their hydro bill,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

“These measures will also provide relief to small businesses such as restaurants and retail shops who have had to close during COVID-19, and support them in reopening once the pandemic has passed.”

BC Hydro rates will also be reduced by 1% as of today (April 1).

(Files from Catherine Garrett, MyPrinceGeorgeNow)