Summerland council is matching the province’s one-time $100 electrical utility credit.
As a result, Summerland residential account holders will receive a $200 rebate on their electrical bills during the first quarter of 2023.
The matching funding was approved at the Dec. 12 council meeting.
“We understand it’s a difficult year for everybody, and it has been a tough year for our utilities budgets,” said Mayor Doug Holmes. “The concerns of residents have been heard and we hope that by matching the province’s one-time credit, we can provide residents some much needed assistance while at the same time provide safe and reliable water, sewer and electrical services, and still maintain momentum to address our infrastructure deficit.”
The decision came at the same time as council eliminated the 10 per cent discount for people paying their utility bills before the due date. In addition, utility rates in Summerland have increased as a result of rising costs, materials shortages and rising interest rates.
The cost of chemicals used for water treatment has increased by close to 142 per cent over the past year and wholesale electricity costs are expected to rise by close to six per cent.
As a result of these increases, utility rates for water, sewer and electricity will increase by close to 13 per cent for 2023. This increase includes the effects of removing the 10 per cent discount for paying bills on time. The cost of the increases is $29.43 a month or $353.16 a year for a typical home in the community.
However, with the $100 provincial rebate and the matching $100 from the municipality, the effect of the increase will be softened and the total increase for a typical residential customer is estimated at slightly more than $150 for the year.
The funds for the one-time rebate will come from the electrical reserve.
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