Statement

BC Hydro responds to public opinion poll by Insights West

Poll questions include incorrect information, omit key details

VANCOUVER – Today Insights West released a poll relating to the Site C Clean Energy Project. Insights West has unfortunately based the poll on incorrect information, while omitting key details from the survey questions. As a result, the findings of the poll are not likely to be an accurate reflection of public opinion.

The poll suggests that BC Hydro's load forecast should be reviewed by the Province's independent regulator. In fact, this is already happening. The BC Utilities Commission is currently conducting a public process to review BC Hydro’s Revenue Requirements Application which includes our 20-year load forecast.

The poll also incorrectly states that according to BC Hydro's annual reports, energy demand has remained flat for the past 10 years. In fact, like many jurisdictions, British Columbia saw a decrease in demand during the economic recession but since then, demand has recovered and is forecast to continue to grow.

In addition, BC Hydro has also invested in energy efficiency programs in order to meet 66 per cent of all new power demand through conservation. We are on track to exceed this target.

The poll indicates that BC Hydro has stated that the province will not need new power until 2028 at the earliest. This is not true. In fact, our load forecast indicates that without Site C, British Columbia would already have a capacity deficit of 8-per cent and an energy deficit of 2-per cent within 10 years.

The poll also asked participants about investing in energy efficiency measures yet failed to mention that conservation is and has been a key priority of BC Hydro for more than 25 years. In fact, the Clean Energy Act requires BC Hydro to meet 66 per cent of all new power demand through conservation by 2020 and BC Hydro is currently on track to exceed this target.

The poll also suggests that BC Hydro failed to investigate alternative resource options, which is incorrect. As part of its long-term planning process, BC Hydro undertook a comparison of alternative resource options such as wind, run-of-river hydro, biomass, geothermal and natural gas. Studies found that Site C will provide the most affordable, reliable and clean power compared to alternatives for more than 100 years.

BC Hydro is building Site C because it is the most cost effective way to meet our future energy needs with clean, reliable power.

Site C is the most carefully studied project in our province’s history. Planning has been underway for more than 8 years, including a 3 year environmental assessment process. Now under construction for more than a year, Site C is a critical project that will deliver affordable, reliable, clean energy for decades to come.  

For more information:

BC Hydro Media Relations: 604 928 6468