November 26, 2013 11:50 pm
Updated: November 27, 2013 12:59 am

B.C. government to raise hydro rates 25.5% over five years

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BC Hydro has announced it will increase electricity rates by 25.5% over the next five years.

The rate increases will be 9% for the first year, 6% for the second, then capped at 4%, 3.5% and 3% over the next three years. The hike will kick in on April 1, 2014.

The rate hikes mean an average monthly bill will go up $8 in the first year, and about $25 a month after 5 years.

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The plan is a 10 year one, and in the final five years, BC Hydro says rates will be set by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, BCUC, and BC Hydro says it will ensure “increases remain low and predictable.”

Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review, Bill Bennett, says this 10 year plan will keep electricity rates as low as possible while BC Hydro makes investments in aging assets.

“This is a balanced and responsible plan that keeps rates as low as possible while funding infrastructure investments to support our growing economy and population. Since 2011, government and BC Hydro have worked hard to reduce pressure on rates and we will continue to work together over the course of this plan to keep our electricity system affordable, reliable and sustainable,” says Bennett.

Tonight on Unfiltered Jill Krop talks with  Minister of Energy Bill Bennett and Jim Quail, the legal director for COPE 378  and finds out are the hikes necessary? Are Hydro customers bearing the burden of government mismanagement? 

BC Hydro will also shed 120 jobs.

Vancouver hydro costs are lower than Calgary, Toronto, Moncton, Ottawa, and Regina but are higher than Winnipeg and Montreal.

Media and consumers alike were alerted to a rate hike when an internal document was leaked in September.

BC Hydro outlined earlier that the money would be used to pay for capital upgrades:

Capital additions                               $515 million

Rate “smoothing out”                    $160 million

Independent power projects     $130 million

Deferred dam upgrades               $130 million

Interest/other                                  $65 million

 

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