B.C. Commercial electricity consumption plummets during COVID-19 pandemic

VANCOUVER - Businesses are taking advantage of a BC Hydro relief fund that allows electricity bills for commercial properties to be waived during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 3,000 applications have already been filed since the program launched on Wednesday, allowing commercial properties forced to shutter during the crisis to waive the expense for up to three months. 

“To be eligible for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, business customers must be on BC Hydro’s small general service rate and have temporarily closed or ceased operation due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” BC Hydro said in a statement. “BC Hydro estimates that around 40,000 small businesses in the province will be eligible for the program.”

The program builds off a similar initiative BC Hydro launched last week for residential customers who have lost employment or income because of COVID-19. So far, 57,000 B.C. residents have applied for the relief fund, which amounts to an estimated $16 million in credits.

Electricity use across B.C. has plummeted since the outbreak began. 

According to BC Hydro, daily consumption has fallen 13% in the first two weeks of April compared to the three-year average for the same time period.

Electricity use has fallen 30% for recreation facilities, 29% in the restaurant sector and 27% in hotels. 

For more information about the COVID-19 Relief Fund, go to bchydro.com/covid19relief.


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