BC FORUM News
Posted November 2, 2019
BC FORUM supports continuation and extension of
BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund
Download letter here.
October 21, 2019
British Columbia Utilities Commission
ATTN: Commission Secretary
Suite 410, 900 Howe Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2N3
BC FORUM submission to the BC Utilities Commission
The BC Federation of Retired Union Members – BC FORUM – represents thousands of retired and active workers from unions affiliated to the BC Federation of Labour. BC FORUM is a registered non-profit society for union members age 50 and up. We are dedicated to representing the well-being of members, their families and their spouses.
BC FORUM supports the BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund (CCF) Pilot Program. We believe that this program should be both maintained and expanded.
In its July 31 2019 report “Customer Crisis Fund (CCF) Pilot Program Evaluation Report for Year One” BC Hydro noted they were unable to identify... “if the 21 CCF Pilot resulted in benefits (such as avoiding disconnection or reducing costs) to 22 participants or other customers. Only a small number of customers received grants 23 during the period that allowed pre-grant and post-grant comparisons...” From our perspective, BC FORUM believes that assisting people with their overdue and/or with their unpaid BC Hydro bills is crucial to allowing seniors who have faced life events that caused financial distress to remain independent and dignified.
In the same submission BC Hydro noted they used a network of partners to create awareness of the Customer Crisis Fund Pilot Program. BC FORUM believes that there is a significant lack of awareness of this Customer Crisis Fund among seniors and senior serving organizations. Therefore, we are strongly recommending that BC Utilities Commission require BC Hydro to undertake an outreach and awareness program about the Customer Crisis Fund. This should include but not be limited to:
- Reaching out to community based seniors serving organizations
- Reaching out to seniors and retirees organizations including BC FORUM
- Reaching out to anti poverty organizations
- Reaching out to community based immigrant serving organizations.
In conclusion, BC FORUM supports the BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund (CCF) Pilot Program and strongly urges that this program be continued and expanded.
We can save this program and maintain our forward momentum towards Low Income Rates if we all take action now.
BC Federation of Retired Union Members