At its regular afternoon meeting on December 12, Summerland Council resolved to match the Province’s one-time $100 electrical utility credit, meaning that all Summerland residential account holders will see a rebate of $200 on their electricity bills sometime in the first quarter of 2023.
Citing community feedback on the elimination of the 10% discount for paying utility bills before the due date, Council decided to redirect funds earmarked for the electrical reserve to instead help residents offset household expenses. With the $200 credit, the impact of the 2023 utility increases on an average residential home in Summerland will total just over $150 for the year.
Skyrocketing costs, material shortages and increasing interest rates have significantly impacted utility budgets. For water treatment chemicals alone, the District has experienced a nearly 142% increase in the last year, requiring nearly half a million dollars in new expenses to maintain the existing level of service for residents. Wholesale power costs, the largest single expenditure in the District’s budget, are expected to rise nearly 6%.
“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.”
Residential account holders will receive the District of Summerland’s one-time credit of $100 at the same time they receive the Province’s $100 credit. Both credits will be automatically applied to your utility bill and there’s no action you need to take.