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

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Prince Rupert’s ferry issue is a North Coast issue, MLA Rice

Prince Rupert not alone in fight to save ferry to Ketchikan: Alaskan Rep. Ortiz

Brand new vessel for Massett Marine Rescue

The Tagwaal was unveiled to the public Sept. 6

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read