Energy Minister Bill Bennett

Energy savings offered to lower-income families

BC Hydro and FortisBC are expanding their low-income energy conservation programs to reduce the impact of rising electricity costs

BC Hydro and FortisBC are expanding their low-income energy conservation programs to reduce the impact of rising electricity costs.

One program offers free energy saving kits, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, weatherstripping, thermometers to optimize operation of the fridge and freezer and a high-efficiency shower head. The other offers free home energy evaluations to see if they home qualifies for an energy-efficient refrigerator or extra insulation.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett said the government changed regulations to increase the low-income cutoff to qualify for the programs. A family of four earning up to $57,200 can now qualify, up from $44,000, a change Bennett said will almost double the number of households who are eligible. The threshold for a two-person household is $47,100.

Customers of the two utilities have to apply and provide proof of income to take advantage of the programs.

Bennett said last November he would seek ways to provide extra help for lower-income customers when he unveiled a new BC Hydro rate plan. That plan will see electricity rates rise by 28% over the next five years, with further increases to be determined at that time.

BC Hydro has other energy-saving incentives that are not income-tested, including a rebate program for installation of insulation, draft-proofing, heat pumps and water heaters. Those require homeowners to pay for assessment to see if they qualify for rebates.

Bennett said BC Hydro spends $160 million a year on its whole range of energy efficiency programs, including those for commercial and industrial customers.

The utility has set an “aggressive” goal to meet 78% of its demand growth through energy conservation, reducing the need to build new generating capacity, he said.

 

Just Posted

World Class Hiking Trail For The North Island?

The idea is getting some serious attention.

Provincial grants help communities map, meet housing needs

The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29, 2019.

North Island Rising: Can the future of the North Island be managed?

Can growth be managed and if so, is now the time to start figuring things out?

Less than a month to go until the Mount Waddington Fall Fair!

The committee is hoping for a record number of exhibits this year

Port McNeill CCCU presents cheque to Port McNeill Hospital Society executive

The cheque was from the June 21 fundraiser BBQ that Ward and her Grandmother Lou organized together

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read