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British Columbians get break on three government services in 2018

Costs for MSP & natural gas going down, BC Hydro rate-hike cancelled

Finally, British Columbians get a break.

User costs for three core government services and utilities, including natural gas, medical services premiums (MSP) and electricity, will either drop or stay frozen come January.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. BC Hydro

In 2016, BC Hydro applied to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for three years of rate increases including a 3% increase in 2018. But the Government of B.C. delivered on a campaign promise to freeze rates and BC Hydro pulled back its BCUC request.

The rate freeze will provide government time to undertake a comprehensive review of BC Hydro. Any cost and revenue adjustments identified will be reflected in rates starting in April 2019.

To learn more about the BC Hydro rate freeze, visit:


2. FortisBC

As of January 1, 2018, the majority of FortisBC customers will see an overall decrease to their natural gas bills.

Below is the breakdown of residential changes for each region.

  • Residential customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays will see an approximate overall annual decrease of 6% or $45
  • Residential customers on Vancouver Island will see a substantial overall annual decrease of approximately 15% or $85
  • Residential customers in Whistler will see a substantial overall annual decrease of approximately 23% or $245
  • Residential customers in Fort Nelson will see an approximate annual decrease of 2% or $20

To learn more about FortisBC rates, visit:


3. Medical Service Premiums (MSP)

Effective January 1, 2018, current rates for MSP Premiums will be reduced by 50% for all British Columbians.

  • There is no need to apply for this reduction as premium amounts will be automatically adjusted for all British Columbians.
  • The Regular Premium Assistance program remains in place, providing financial assistance to those with an annual adjusted net income of $42,000 or less.
  • Families with an annual adjusted net income of $26,000 or less will pay no MSP premiums at all. This is a $2,000 increase from the current $24,000.

To learn more about changes to MSP, visit:

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