Supporting British Columbia during the COVID-19 outbreak
As a critical infrastructure service provider, we’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our customers, employees and their communities. Here's what we're doing to assist our customers during this challenging time.
We’re always here for you
We’re here to answer your questions and assist you with billing, payments and other energy-related services.
Residential and small business customers
- Billing and payment: we’ve waived late payment fees and will ensure no customer is disconnected from the energy they need due to financial hardship at this time. Our team is ready to help you with any billing questions
you have and can help find flexible payment options that work for you.
Learn more about the billing support we offer.
- Energy-saving support for small businesses: To help small and medium-sized businesses in BC recover from the challenges of COVID-19, we’re offering free customized energy advice by phone, video conference or in-person. Business owners can get tips, technical advice and information about our programs that can help them save energy, greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs. Learn more and request a free consultation with a program representative.
- Contact us: call us at 1-866-436-7847 for electricity (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) or 1-888-224-2710 for natural gas (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Or you can email us and access your Account Online. For our large commercial and industrial customers please contact your key account manager to discuss payment arrangements.
Large commercial and industrial customers
- For our large commercial and industrial customers please contact your key account manager to discuss payment arrangements.
Keeping our field crews and communities safe
FortisBC has been deemed a critical infrastructure service provider during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Delivering the energy you need
As a critical infrastructure service provider during the COVID-19 public health emergency, FortisBC crews working in your neighbourhood are there for good reason — ensuring you have the energy you need for your home and for essential service providers like hospitals, first responder agencies, care homes, pharmacies and grocery stores. We can assure you that any maintenance work or service disruptions are necessary to keep the system running safely and reliably. By continuing with this work, we avoid the potential for larger and longer disruptions at a later time.
Safety is our top priority
While working in the community, our crews will keep appropriate physical distancing measures with each other when possible. In the event that we must enter a customer’s home, our employee will wear personal protection equipment including overalls, respiratory, eye and hand protection.
See our FAQs below to learn more about how we're ensuring all of our employees stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Helping protect you from scams and fraud
We’re taking extra steps to ensure you’re aware of scams and fraud during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing information on our website and through our social channels, blog and email newsletters.
Answering your questions
We’ve provided a list of FAQs to assist in answering some of your most frequent questions. We’ll continue to update these as needed or as new information becomes available.
Our focus is on assisting all of our customers in ways that best support their individual circumstances. If any customer needs assistance, we’re here to help. Call our customer contact centre and we’ll help find a way forward.
We’re taking a balanced approach to ensure we support our customers that need it the most, while also considering the long-term impacts to all of our customers.
Our decision to waive late payment fees and stop disconnections, in response to COVID-19, is in place for the immediate future. As with all other measures we’ve taken in response to COVID-19, these decisions will be assessed on an ongoing basis. We remain committed to supporting our customers during this challenging and uncertain time by continuing to provide them with customized payment solutions for their bills. We encourage any of our customers to reach out to us for assistance.
Large commercial and industrial accounts impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to speak with their key account manager to discuss payments arrangements.
You will see our crews working throughout the communities we serve because as a critical infrastructure service provider, we must continue to provide the energy you need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means our crews are in the field responding to emergency calls and performing maintenance and system upgrades to support the delivery of safe and reliable energy to our hospitals, grocery stores, first responder agencies, homes and businesses.
While working in the community, our crews will keep appropriate physical distancing measures with each other when possible and they have access to additional personal protective equipment like respiratory, eye and hand protection, to further reduce the risk of infection. If you do see our crews working, keep your distance to ensure your safety and the safety of our crews.
Our meter readers perform an important service to ensure accurate billing of our customers. Our contracted meter readers are continuing to work as their jobs are done almost exclusively outdoors and away from any of our customers.
Yes, reliable and safe energy delivery is considered a critical infrastructure service during the current public health emergency. Planned upgrades and maintenance to our infrastructure is important to maintain reliable energy delivery and failure to do the work on schedule could lead to larger or prolonged outages. At this time, we’re going ahead with some planned power outages. We appreciate your patience as our crews complete their work and restore power safely and as quickly as possible. For more information, visit fortisbc.com/outages.
Delivery of energy is a critical infrastructure service to British Columbians. Some scheduled maintenance and upgrades are required to ensure we can reliably and safely deliver natural gas, electricity and propane to homes and businesses as well as other essential services like hospitals and first responders. This includes critical safety inspections, emergency repairs to our system, and new service installations for homes or businesses pending occupancy or without heat. Fortunately, work on our infrastructure rarely requires our field employees to be in close contact with anyone, which means they can maintain advised physical distancing.
We’re temporarily postponing some work such as routine meter changes and all in-person customer engagement.
Yes, for the time being, we’ve postponed any work that would need a member of our team to enter your home unless the work is emergency related. If you had a previously scheduled appointment, we will reach out to you to reschedule it at a later date. Work that can be done outside at the meter will continue if required.
In emergency situations where we must enter a customer’s home, to ensure everyone’s safety, additional personal protection equipment may be used including full torso overalls, respiratory protection, eye protection and hand protection.
Safety is our foremost concern and we take every precaution to protect our customers and employees.
We’ve postponed all planned work that would require our staff to enter a customer’s home including planned meter exchanges. In situations where we must enter a customer’s home, such as an emergency, to ensure everyone’s safety, additional personal protection equipment may be used, including full torso overalls, respiratory protection, eye protection and hand protection.
We’ve advised all of our employees, including those who have face-to-face contact with customers, to stay home if they are feeling sick or showing any symptoms of the virus whatsoever and seek medical attention if symptoms progress.
During this time, providing energy is a critical infrastructure service and we will continue to ensure British Columbians receive the natural gas, electricity and propane they need safely and reliably.
We need to deliver energy to not just residences, but other services that British Columbians rely on such as hospitals, first responder agencies, care homes, pharmacies and grocery stores.
Employees who are able to work from home are doing so. Of our 2,400 employees we have over 1,100 employees now working from home throughout the province. Many of the remaining roles cannot be performed remotely as they require access to certain equipment or require employees to be working out in the community. For these employees we’re implementing proper physical distancing measures and taking all the precautions we can.
There are currently no impacts to our natural gas and electricity operations. As always, we’re monitoring our network and systems very closely 24/7. We’ve enacted a comprehensive emergency response and pandemic plan to maintain critical services to BC in the event of widespread illness. This includes service to your homes and businesses, as well as other essential service providers including hospitals, police and fire departments, care homes, grocery stores and pharmacies.
FortisBC continues to monitor for new developments around COVID-19, and we have plans in place to maintain critical service in the event of widespread illness. Customers can be assured that we have the resource capacity to deal with any emergency or critical situation. Our primary goal is always to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and customers. That means we’re committed to making sure you have the energy you need and we are doing whatever we can to ensure your safety.
We’re asking all our staff to follow all practices recommended by federal and provincial health officials. This includes:
- frequent hand washing
- adopting enhanced sanitization routines in our offices and facilities
- supporting self-isolation measures
- adopting physical distancing and prohibiting large group gatherings and visitors to our sites
- restricting all non-essential business and personal travel
- ensuring employees work from home where operationally possible
We’ve also postponed all planned work that would require our staff to enter a customer’s home including planned meter exchanges. In any emergency situation where we must enter a customer’s home, to ensure their safety, additional personal protection equipment may be used including full torso overalls, respiratory protection, eye protection and hand protection.
We’re ensuring that field crews from different muster stations are not working on the same site, keeping teams separate. Some customer service technicians are working from home, only visiting the muster station to stock up on required supplies to do their job.
We’ve also added vehicles to our vehicle pool so fewer people have to ride together to job sites or, when possible, workers can take separate vehicles.
FortisBC has suspended all service disconnections, for any financial reason, at this time. We’re aware that scammers and fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak and may phone or send phishing emails, text messages and social media posts, threatening disconnections. If you are contacted, please call our contact centre to report it. You can also learn more about protecting yourself from scams and fraud at fortisbc.com/scams.
Keeping you informed
As the situation evolves, we are committed to responding to the needs of our customers and employees and keeping you informed. Our contact centres are available to serve you, and we will post updates on our website and social media feeds.