March 1, 2019 6:54 pm

BC Hydro rate hike approved, bills to climb on April 1

BC Hydro rates will be increasing by 6.85 per cent on April 1.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Richard Buchan
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British Columbians’ power bills will be edging up slightly come April.

The B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) has approved an interim rate hike of 6.85 per cent for 2019 and 0.72 per cent for 2020.

READ MORE: BC Hydro rates set to go up 8.1 per cent over the next five years

However, the regulator has also approved a move by the hydro company to reduce its Deferral Account Rate Rider (DARR) from five per cent to zero.

That change means that customers will only see their bills rise by 1.76 per cent in April, not the full 6.85 per cent.

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BC Hydro has projected that it will need to hike rates by 8.1 per cent over the next five years.

The province’s NDP government had pledged to freeze hydro rates during the 2017 election campaign, but the BCUC rejected the idea.

READ MORE: BC Hydro rates are going up despite NDP promise to freeze them

The BCUC has also established a public review and input process for the rate hikes.

Once the regulator makes its final decision, any difference between the approved interim rates and permanent rates will be either be refunded to customers with interest or their bills will be adjusted upwards.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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