A new utility bill relief program is on offer from Chilliwack city hall. (The Progress file)

Chilliwack council rolls out utility bill relief for residents

For those who qualify the relief program offers three months’ credit on water and sewer fees

Chilliwack homeowners who are unable to work since COVID-19 hit may be eligible for relief from their utility bills.

A new utility relief program approved by city council offers three months’ credit on municipal water and sewer fees by dovetailing with the application process laid out in the BC Hydro relief fund.

“We wanted to introduce a program that provides financial relief for those who really need it during this difficult time,” said Mayor Popove. “We didn’t want to waste time trying to re-invent a program when others were already in place, so we decided to make use of a good program that benefits residents.”

The actual amount of financial relief a Chilliwack owner will get will be calculated on the average monthly water and sewer usage of the household.

Rather than develop a new program, which would require resources and another application to fill out, city officials found a way to streamline the process by linking its program to BC Hydro’s new ‘COVID-19 Relief Fund for Residential Customers.’

BC Hydro has already outlined eligibility requirements and provided an online application process.

”In order to qualify for the city’s program, a residential utility account holder must first apply for BC Hydro’s relief program and then provide the city with confirmation of program approval,” according to the City of Chilliwack press release April 28.

“This may be a copy of their BC Hydro approval letter or a recent BC Hydro invoice depicting the BC Hydro COVID-19 relief credit. Under the city’s program, the utility account holder and address must match the names on the BC Hydro invoice.

“There is a maximum of one, three month bill credit per qualified household, based on the average monthly water and sewer usage. Under this program, curbside collection fees are not eligible for credit.”

It is estimated it could provide residential homeowners with $150,000 in total relief. To adjust to this revenue loss, the city plans to delay certain capital projects that will not impact services to the community.

More details at chilliwack.com/utilityrelief

READ MORE: Businesses to get rent relief

READ MORE: B.C. announces financial relief

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