B.C. residents rejoice!
Rent prices may not be very forgiving here, but three key government services will be giving everyone a break in the new year.
So without further ado, here’s what you need to know:
1. Cost of Medical Service Premiums will decrease
As of January 1st, 2018, MSP prices will be cut in half for everyone in the province.
According to the government website, residents will not be required to apply for this 50% reduction, as rates will be adjusted automatically.
People with a net annual income of $42,000 or less will still qualify for financial assistance under the Regular Premium Assistance program.
Moreover, families with a net annual income of $26,000 or less won’t have to pay a premium at all (compared to the current standard of $24,000 or less).
2. Natural gas rates are set to decrease
Although electricity rates will stay the same, FortisBC has announced a decrease in natural gas rates across the province, starting January 1st, 2018.
For Vancouver Island residents, this means an overall annual decrease of about 15% or $85.
Click here to see a breakdown of the price changes in other parts of B.C.
3. BC Hydro price hike has been cancelled
Despite BC Hydro’s application to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) allowing them a 3% price hike in 2018, the new provincial government is set to deliver on its campaign promise to freeze Hydro rates.
“The rate freeze will provide government the time to undertake a comprehensive review of BC Hydro,” reads the statement.
“That review will identify changes and cost savings to keep rates low while ensuring BC Hydro has the resources it needs to continue to provide clean, safe and reliable electricity.”
The results of the review will be reflected in BC Hydro rates starting April 2019.