Phone lines are open at FortisBC's newest B.C.-based customer service centres

300 new jobs created at the Prince George and Burnaby centres

SURREY, BC, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The phone lines are open, marking the completion of a two-year project by FortisBC to move to in-house customer service for natural gas customers.

"We are extremely proud to announce the official opening of our new gas customer contact and billing centres in British Columbia. This is the culmination of a two year project to bring the gas customer service function back in-house and create 300 new jobs in B.C.," said John Walker, president and CEO, FortisBC. "On our first day of operation, employees logged almost 8,000 calls from customers."

"The ability to interact directly with our customers and to respond to their inquiries is very important to us - something our electricity customers have enjoyed for several years through our Trail contact centre. It delivers on our commitment to provide customers with the quality service they expect, and to operate regionally-based centres that make financial sense and enhance service for our customers," added Walker.

In addition to creating new jobs, the establishment of the two new B.C. based centres in Prince George and Burnaby will lead to benefits for all British Columbians, including growing the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increasing tax revenues.

"FortisBC's new call centres shows how British Columbia with its highly skilled workforce and competitive tax regime can compete effectively in the market place," said Premier Christy Clark. "The 300 jobs created at the new call centres in Prince George and Burnaby will help support local families and strengthen communities. Through the BC Jobs Plan, we remain committed to supporting the development of jobs for the benefit of all British Columbians."

The new in-house customer service centres provide FortisBC and its customers with a number of ongoing improvements, including:

  • expanded communication and service channels
  • customer service representatives with local knowledge of B.C.'s energy market
  • positioning the company to expand our services

The new facilities have been designed and built in an energy efficient manner, in keeping with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles and guidelines. Four local companies completed the renovations and upgrades at the Prince George centre. In Burnaby, the new centre is located in Willingdon Park, a facility accessible by foot, bike, car or public transportation. The centres are open to answer customer inquiries Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

FortisBC is an integrated energy solutions provider focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and alternative energy solutions, at the lowest reasonable cost. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines and approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.

SOURCE FortisBC

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kirsten Walker
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
FortisBC
Phone: 604-592-7507
Email: kirsten.walker@fortisbc.com
fortisbc.com
twitter.com/FortisBC
youtube.com/FortisBC


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