VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Thousands of businesses have already applied for help from BC Hydro, just a day after the power provider launched a relief program for those affected by the global pandemic.
Since the program started Wednesday, 3,000 applications have come in for bill relief, according to BC Hydro.
.@bchydro says to date, it’s received 3,000 applications from its small biz customers for its COVID-19 relief fund. It began accepting applications yesterday. Those needing help can apply until June 30th. #COVID19
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) April 16, 2020
The program offers to waive electricity costs for up to three months for small businesses that have closed because of COVID-19. Customers must also be on the BC Hydro’s small general service rate.
BC Hydro says about 40,000 customers are eligible, and applications will be accepted until June 30.
Since COVID-19 measures have been in place, BC Hydro says usage in commercial buildings has gone down. Recreational facilities dropped by 30 per cent, similar to restaurants at 29 per cent. Usage in hotels saw a decline of 27 per cent and by 16 per cent in offices.
The company also started a relief program for residential customers last week and says more than 57,000 people applied.