Victoria – It didn’t take Premier David Eby long to hand out Christmas gifts. Mere hours after he was sworn in to replace John Horgan as BC Premier, he announced that families and small businesses in B.C. will get a one-time cost-of-living credit on their BC Hydro bill this fall, and a new BC Affordability Credit in January.
“People and small businesses across B.C. are feeling the squeeze of global inflation,” said Premier David Eby. “It’s a time when people need their government to continue to be there for them. That’s why we’re focused on helping people most impacted by the rising costs we’re seeing around the world – giving people a bit of extra credit, especially at a time of year when expenses can be quick to add up.”
A BC Hydro bill credit will be provided to all eligible residential and commercial electricity customers, including those who receive their electricity service from FortisBC or a municipal utility.
The one-time $100 cost-of-living credit amounts to approximately one month of electricity for a family living in a detached home, or more than two months of electricity for a family living in an apartment.
Commercial ratepayers, including small and medium businesses, such as restaurants and tourism operators, will receive a one-time bill credit for an average of $500.The precise amount is based on their prior year electricity consumption.
The cost-of-living credit will help offset household expenses during the months ahead when bills generally start to increase due to higher energy use due to cooler weather.
BC Hydro is able to provide a cost-of-living credit due to market conditions that resulted in increased trade and domestic revenues. It will apply automatically to electricity bills.
BC Hydro customers will have the credit applied in early December. Customers of FortisBC and municipal utilities are likely to see their bill credits applied early in the new year.
Eligible individuals and families will automatically receive the new BC Affordability Credit through the Canada Revenue Agency, the same way the enhanced Climate Action Tax Credit was received in October. An eligible person with an income of up to $36,901 will receive the maximum BC Affordability Credit with the credit fully phasing out at $79,376. An eligible family of four with a household income of $43,051 will get the maximum amount, with the credit fully phasing out at $150,051.
This additional support means a family of four can receive as much as $410 in early January 2023 to help offset added costs.
“Look for B.C.’s new Affordability Credit in your bank account in January 2023,” said Eby. “We know it won’t cover all the bills, but we hope the little bit extra helps folks out this winter.”
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon posted to social media:
Support is on the way to help you cover the costs of your electricity bill, as the weather gets colder. As of early December, you’ll see a $100 credit directly applied to your power bill. Business owners will see a $500 credit (on average) on their bill.
This extra money will go to everyone who receives their power through BC Hydro, FortisBC, or a municipal utility. Learn more: gov.bc.ca/savemoney
We have heard from you here in #ChilliwackKent and across BC about the struggle with rising costs for seniors, families, workers, and others on fixed incomes. More help with the cost of living is on it’s way with the new BC Affordability Credit, coming in January for middle- and lower-income people and families.
More than 80% of people and families in BC will automatically get the enhanced BC Affordability Credit – no action required.
It’s a fast and easy way to get a little extra support paying for the essentials – especially after the holiday season. A family with two children can receive up to an additional $410.