March 31, 2020
Sent via email Letter L-20-20
To: All Utilities regulated by the British Columbia Utilities Commission
Re: COVID-19 – Direction from the British Columbia Utilities Commission Regarding Meter Readings
The global COVID-19 pandemic (Pandemic) is moving quickly and its impact on British Columbians continues to grow.
The BCUC recognizes that this Pandemic greatly impacts utilities and utility customers across British Columbia as many businesses and individuals adjust to working from home, social distancing, and self-isolation. Given these difficult circumstances, the BCUC understands that utilities may not be able to conduct in-person meter reading for all customers at this time due to safety and operational concerns. As such, any public utilities regulated by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) that are unable to estimate billings within their endorsed tariff Terms and Conditions are granted relief from meter reading, when necessary, for the duration of the State of Emergency in the Province of British Columbia and while social distancing practices remain in place.
In place of meter readings, when necessary, energy consumption may be estimated from best available sources and evidence for billing purposes. When the next actual meter reading is completed, customers’ bills must then be adjusted for the difference between estimated and actual use over the interval between meter readings.
Also, the BCUC is aware of an increase in cyber-related attacks on utilities and their customers at this vulnerable time. We ask you to remain diligent in protecting your utility assets and, when possible, please communicate with your customers and alert them to the risk of phishing attempts impersonating the Utility.
As the Pandemic continues to evolve, the BCUC will monitor the situation closely and provide updates. We encourage all utilities regulated by the BCUC to also monitor the situation closely and visit our website for information. If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the BCUC.
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