Saanich suspends utility bill penalties

April 2, 2020

News release

For immediate release

Saanich suspends utility bill penalties

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich has suspended penalties on late utility bill payments for the foreseeable future. Council made the decision to suspend the five per cent penalty at its March 31 meeting.

“We want to help relieve the financial stress put on Saanich families and businesses during this challenging time by ensuring there are no penalties for late payments,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “If your financial circumstances haven’t been affected by COVID-19, we encourage you to continue to pay on time. We trust that those who can pay, will pay. Our municipality has very limited levers to provide financial relief. However, we are doing what we can. In addition to removing penalties for delayed payments on utilities, water, garbage and green bin service, we are working to keep our municipal taxes as low as possible, while maintaining our core services.”

Utility bill payments support the delivery of essential services in the community including, the provision of clean water, operation of Saanich’s sewage system and collection of garbage and organics. Under normal circumstances, the penalty is applied to payments received more than 45 days after the billing date. Saanich expects a reduction of approximately $15,000 per month due to the suspension of utility bill penalties.

There are several payment methods available for residents who can continue to pay their bills:

  • Our online payment system
  • At your bank
  • Pre-authorized withdrawal (available to property owners only)
  • By mail (make cheques payable to “Saanich Utility Billing”)
  • Our 24-hour drop box at Saanich Municipal Hall

Please note that in person payments are not currently available as the Municipal Hall is closed until further notice.

As for upcoming property taxes, any decision to extend eligibility for tax deferral rests with the provincial government as they administer the property tax deferral program. The rules for property tax deadlines and penalties are also established by the province through the Community Charter and Regulations. Saanich would consider any tools provided by the province through this legislation to help relieve taxpayers of financial hardship.

Learn more

Visit for more information on Saanich’s response to COVID-19 as well as the most up-to-date information on service disruptions.


Media contact:
Valla Tinney
Director of Finance