B.C. Hydro rate freeze promised for 2018

Three per cent rate increase to be cancelled, review after Site C fate determined

The B.C. government has applied to freeze B.C. Hydro electricity rates for one year and cancel a proposed three per cent hike originally planned for next year.

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall said Wednesday the one-year freeze will give time for a complete review of B.C. Hydro’s debt and its projects. That will start affter the cabinet decides the fate of the Site C dam project on the Peace River.

In debate on her ministry’s budget Tuesday, Mungall cited a B.C. Hydro esitmate that cancelling the Site C project would translate into a 10 per cent rate increase for the utility, or additional debt of $4 billion to cancel the dam project and return the site to the state it was two years ago when construction began.

RELATED: Decision time for John Horgan on Site C dam

“That is why we are commencing our review of B.C. Hydro following our decision on Site C, so we’re not speculating but we are working with factual information in terms of the direction that we’re taking,” Mungall told reporters at the legislature Wednesday.

B.C. Liberal finance critic Tracy Redies said the one-year freeze takes $150 million in revenue away from B.C. Hydro, and cancelling Site C would make matters worse.

Premier John Horgan campaigned on a promise to freeze rates and complete an independent review of Site C by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Hydro rates have increased 24 per cent over the last four years, as the utility has taken on major construction upgrades and deferred debt to keep rates from rising even higher.. The rate freeze follows a budget commitment made in September to phase out the provincial sales tax on electricity sold to businesses.

Horgan said his government will be meeting with B.C. Hydro officials in the new year to discuss a number of issues including deferred debt, the steady increase in electricity pricing and also the two-tier billing system that charges a higher rate to large residential consumers.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

John Morrow photo
Barn catches fire near Abbotsford airport

Fire closes Mt. Lehman Road between Marshall Road and Abbotsford International Airport

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read