Province to meet with BC Hydro over pricing, billing

Officials will discuss potential changes to deferred debt, past price increases and two-tier billing early in the new year.

The premier of B.C. says his government will be meeting with BC Hydro officials in the new year to discuss a number of issues including deferred debt, the steady increase in electricity pricing and also the much maligned two-tier billing process.

Speaking to reporters this week, John Horgan acknowledged a “host of issues” at BC Hydro and levelled his criticism at the former governing Liberals who he says had left the crown corporation “far from under control”.

“I’m committed to making sure that I’m protecting rate-payers from rate shock, which we’ve seen. Over the past decade our rates have been going up far faster than the cost of inflation; far faster than other jurisdictions.”

RELATED: Election 2017 – What’s up with hydro rates?

RELATED: John Horgan appoints new BC Hydro chair

With snow already falling in many parts of the province, Horgan said he remains critical of how the BC Liberals introduced the two-tiered pricing program, even encouraging residents to get rid of their wood stoves and converting to electric heat — those same residents who are now seeing their rates go through the roof.

“I don’t think the two-tiered system takes into consideration the diversity of family units in B.C. and I think if you want to use it as a demand management technique, to reduce peoples use of electricity, that’s a good thing,” Horgan continued.

“But if the consequence is that every month everyone’s paying more, everyone’s going past that first tier, then I think we need to take a look at it.”

Site C dam

Holding firm on his election commitment to make a decision on Site C by the end of 2017, the B.C. Utilities Commission released its independent report on Wednesday, finding that the final cost “may” exceed $10 billion.

Horgan’s government instructed BCUC to come up with cost estimates for completing the dam, pausing construction for a more thorough review of alternatives and future electricity demand, or stopping it and restoring the project area.

The report estimates the cost of shutting down Site C and remediating the project area to be $1.8 billion, plus the cost of finding alternative energy sources to meet demand, on top of the $2 billion already spent. Choosing to suspend construction would add at least $3.6 billion to the final cost according to the report.

FROM THE VAULT: BC Hydro rates going up 28 per cent over five years

RELATED: BC Hydro applies to raise rates by four per cent

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

North Island community groups are adapting due to COVID-19

‘The coronavirus and its effects make this a challenging time for us all’

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Funding has been denied for Port Hardy’s much anticipated Multiplex Pool Project

‘reviewing alternatives and opportunities in the coming months to address the aging infrastructure’

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Otters at play

In the same bay I saw two otters with pups in tow.

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

Most Read