BC Hydro has halted planned outages for residential areas across B.C. as COVID-19 keeps more people at home. (Photo via BC Hydro)

BC Hydro halts planned residential outages as COVID-19 keeps people at home

Utility company creates bill assistance program, crisis fund

BC Hydro has temporarily cancelled all non-emergency planned power outages for residential areas as the coronavirus outbreak leads to more people staying home.

On March 18, the utility company shared a province-wide update on the website explaining that BC Hydro recognizes that the ongoing COVID-19 situation is resulting in many customers spending more time at home for the foreseeable future and planned outages would be inconvenient.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus update: What’s happening right now in Canada

According to the BC Hydro website, planned outages are set for repairs, upgrades, maintenance, customer requests and adding new connections. Planned outages can be viewed on the online outage map.

The outages will be rescheduled at a later date and crews will continue to respond to unplanned outages as they happen and work to restore power quickly, explained BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk.

READ ALSO: BC Hydro to stop disconnections for those impacted by COVID-19

The hydro company also announced on March 13 that a COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program had been created to help customers experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“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 BC Hydro president and CEO Chris O’Riley in a written statement.

READ ALSO: First responders adjust how they respond to emergencies in face of pandemic

He added that as some customers may receive higher utility bills due to more people working from home or self-isolating, the assistance program will allow them to rearrange or defer their payments.

Customers facing financial hardship due to job loss or illness may be eligible for the BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund, which provides grants of up to $600 to help with electrical bills.

Those interested in the assistance program or the crisis fund can call 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) or visit bchydro.com for more information.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

BCHydroCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

International Bat Week runs from Oct. 24 to 31. (Photo: Cory Olson)
Time to get batty for International Bat Week

International Bat Week runs from Oct. 24 to 31

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was elected president of the Union of B.C. Municipalitiesin September 2019. She helped guide the 190-member organization through the coronavirus pandemic. (UBCM photo)
Sooke mayor front-line commander of the coronavirus pandemic

Maja Tait played pivotal role during COVID-19 crisis

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Sooke School District No. 62 superintendent Scott Stinson explains that most block classes at Belmont Secondary will be halved. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

Feedback solicited at virtual town hall Oct. 28

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

SIG
Sooke U15 squad blast past Comox

Rylan Sokolosky records hat trick

Most Read