Construction continues on the Site C dam project in northeastern B.C., with an estimated cost of more than $10 billion and completion expected in 2024. (B.C. Hydro)

Construction continues on the Site C dam project in northeastern B.C., with an estimated cost of more than $10 billion and completion expected in 2024. (B.C. Hydro)

NDP looks for ways to rein in B.C. Hydro rates

Internal review looks for cost cutting, new revenue sources

The B.C. NDP government’s first effort to slow down B.C. Hydro rates was rejected by regulators, and now they are trying again.

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announced a two-part review of the provincially owned electrical utility Monday, after dam construction and deferred debt forced a three per cent rate increase in April. That followed a 3.5 per cent increase in 2017, part of the B.C. Liberal government’s 10-year rate plan.

RELATED: NDP’s BC Hydro rate freeze refused

Now an internal ministry team will seek ways to “refresh” the previous government’s rate plan, which was announced in 2013 and included increases totalling up to 28 per cent over five years.

RELATED: BC Hydro rate plan maps big increases

Premier John Horgan campaigned last year on a promise to freeze B.C. Hydro rates while a review of accumulated debt and major projects like the Site C dam on the Peace River were conducted. His government reluctantly decided to continue Site C, with cost estimated at more than $10 billion.

The B.C. Utilities Commission then refused B.C. Hydro’s application for a rate freeze in February.

The government intends to appoint an expert panel later this year. Its role is to “ensure B.C. Hydro is well positioned to maximize opportunities flowing from shifts taking place in the global and regional energy sectors, technological change and climate action,” according to a ministry statement.

BC legislatureBCHydro

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

Just Posted

We need to curb our addiction to growth and set about building a more sustainable society, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Addressing over-consumption needs to be a priority

For 50 years we have been avoiding action for sustainability, says columnist

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health expands COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo

Health authority opens new testing site with double the capacity at Vancouver Island University

Steven Michael Bacon, is expected to see his next court date Feb. 12, in B.C. provincial court in Nanaimo, where a date for a preliminary inquiry could be set. (News Bulletin file)
Date for preliminary inquiry in Makayla Chang murder case expected in two months’ time

Steven Michael Bacon’s next appearance in Nanaimo court set for Feb. 12

The city has announced that the Port Theatre will be closed until the new year. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo’s Port Theatre to remain closed until end of 2020

Refunds available as December events rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

Const. Joshua Waltman brings knowledge gained from working with people experiencing homelessness in Surrey to his new role as the RCMP’s mental health liaison officer in Nanaimo where he will work with people from across society who find themselves struggling with mental health crisis. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo RCMP’s mental health liaison says his role will take persistence and resilience

Const. Joshua Waltman talks about limiting anxiety and gaining trust of people in mental crises

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read