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

Bike helmets, tools donated to Santa’s Workshop

Cross Canada Cycle Touring Society and Canadian Tire embraced the season of giving

Annual labyrinth walk welcomes the festive celebration of lights season

Take a break from the commercial activity of the holiday season and… Continue reading

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

Courtenay family looking for help after baby born two months premature

A GoFundMe page has been set up as a difficult pregnancy and a long stay in Victoria have left the family struggling to get by

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read