FortisBC Inc. (FortisBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc., said that the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has recently approved its 2009-2010 capital plan. The company received approval to spend about CAD151 million net of customer contributions of CAD14 million and CAD141 million net of customer contributions of CAD15 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively. An additional CAD16 million is subject to further regulatory processes.

The capital plan approval is subject to the condition that the impact of the capital expenditures undertaken does not cause the 2009 general rate increase previously approved by the BCUC to be exceeded. The company expects to be able to satisfy this condition.

The most significant areas of expenditure are those required to expand and upgrade the transmission and distribution system, including certain expenditures relating to the previously approved Okanagan Transmission Reinforcement project, to meet customers’ ongoing electrical requirements and to continue the company’s long-term upgrade and life extension program for FortisBC’s hydroelectric generating plants.

“Approval of a two-year capital plan provides for efficient planning, allowing us to better forecast material, labour and construction resources, thereby reducing schedule and cost uncertainties,” said John Walker, president and chief executive officer, FortisBC.

The 2009-2010 capital plans includes plans to expand FortisBC’s nationally recognized PowerSense program that helps customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both financial incentives and advice on energy efficient technologies and practices. Since its inception in 1989, FortisBC PowerSense has helped customers in BC’s southern interior save more than 329 million kWh, enough energy to power over 25,000 homes each year.

Fortis Inc. is a gas and electricity distribution utility in Canada.