FortisBC web glitch causes delays processing energy rebates
FortisBC has had some trouble processing residential rebates for home qualifying home improvements.
John Werring of Surrey spent thousands of dollars upgrading his home's energy systems and installing extra insulation after this past summer's heat wave.
"The impetus was climate change, the motivation was the rebate program," he explained.
He says his upgrades have already saved him about 25 per cent on his heating bill but he was not so thrilled with he contacted McLaughlin on Your Side about the FortisBC home improvement rebate program. He says he tried to apply online in mid-July to receive an expected $2,000 rebate for his upgrades. However, the online application system was down with no estimated time when it would be up and running again.
"They said we can't even access all the applications that are being submitted," he added.
He says he spent weeks waiting while making numerous calls to try to find alternative ways to apply but ended up in total frustration over the whole experience. Finally, he says after much pushing and prodding he was able to get a paper application sent to him.
He filled it out in September and sent it to FortisBC by registered mail return receipt. It was received by FortisBC on Sept. 14. However, on Oct. 19 when CTV News Vancouver talked to Werring he had not received any reply.
"I wonder just how many people just give up," Werring said.
FortisBC says it gets up to 100,000 rebate applications a year and that it can take up to 90 days to process them. However, the company said it is currently making some backend changes with its online application system and has temporarily taken it down.
In the meantime, customers applying for a rebate that is jointly offered by FortisBC and BC Hydro will be directed to submit their application through BC Hydro's online system. For all other FortisBC programs, a paper application is available for customers to complete and send in to receive their rebate.
The province oversees the CleanBC Better Homes rebate program and last year approximately $19.66 million worth of residential rebates were processed.
BC Hydro and FortisBC handle individual rebates on the province's behalf, based on the consumer's service territory.
CleanBC Better Homes says that if consumers run into problems they can call or email and be connected with a CleanBC energy coach, who can provide support or refer them to the appreciate utility call centre.