Hydro rates to be frozen

 

Don’t expect your hydro bill to go up this winter.

The NDP government is making good on its promise in the September budget update to freeze hydro rates.

BC Hydro rates have gone up by more than 24 per cent in the last four years, and by more than 70 per cent since 2001, according to a government news release. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall says that in 2016, BC Hydro applied to the BC Utilities Commission for three years of increases, with a three per cent increase planned next year, but will be pulling back its request, consistent with this administration’s commitment to a rate freeze.

“After years of escalating electricity costs, British Columbians deserve a break on their bills,” said Mungall. “From the moment we took office, we’ve taken action to make life more affordable. As part of that, we’re going to make sure that BC Hydro is working for the benefit of all British Columbians and that its rates reflect that commitment.”

The rate freeze will provide government the time to undertake a comprehensive review of BC Hydro. That review will identify changes and cost savings to keep rates low while ensuring BC Hydro has the resources it needs to continue to provide clean, safe and reliable electricity. Details of the scope and process for the review will be developed once government has made a final decision on Site C.

After completing a comprehensive review of BC Hydro, any cost and revenue adjustments identified will be reflected in rates starting in April 2019.