As a way to ensure B.C. residents still have access to electricity in times of self isolation and financial hardship, BC Hydro has announced that they will not disconnect service for non-payment at this time.
The company is also cancelling non-emergency planned power outages while the majority of residential customers self isolate at home.
“We recognize the financial impact COVID-19 may have on our customers due to changes in employment from workplaces closing, or reducing staffing levels and want to provide some relief during this challenging time,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro President and Chief Executive Officer.
“In addition, some customers may experience higher electricity bills due to increased consumption from spending more time at home.”
The utility company recently launched a new COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program.
This program gives customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty by calling 1-800-224-9376 to discuss bill payment options.
Anyone who is facing temporary financial hardship due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member can also apply for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay bills.
See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island
This morning, the federal government announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.
On Tuesday, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Today, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.
Canada has also tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada. U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule.
Moreover international flights will now be restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 216,822.
Nearly 9,000 people have died from the illness and 84,383 have made a full recovery.