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.

Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

Evacuation alert for Syringa and Deer Park

The Syringa Creek Fire grew Saturday resulting in evacuation alerts.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Smoky skies force flight cancellations

Air quality in West Kootenay also a health concern

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read