Review of BC Hydro reduces rate impacts on customers
|While investments in BC Hydro's electricity system continue – including additional generating capacity at Revelstoke Dam – a government review of the utility's expenditures will lead to efficiencies and cost savings that will reduce proposed rate increases over three years.|
Average bill increase reduced to $4 per month in each of three years
BC Hydro President & CEO
Today, the BC Government announced the outcome of its review of BC Hydro, which provides a fresh and independent look at our expenditures and the way we conduct our business. The goal was to reduce the impact of rate increases for our customers and keep our rates among the lowest in North America while continuing to invest in our province’s electricity infrastructure.
Over the past several months, BC Hydro has been working hard to find efficiencies and cost savings. I am happy to announce that we will be filing a revised rate application later this year that will see our proposed rate increase be reduced from 32 per cent over three years to about 16 per cent over three years.
For the average residential customer account, this means a bill increase of approximately $4 per month in each of the three years of the application.
This 50 per cent reduction in our proposed rate increase will be achieved in part by the recommendations included in the Government review report [PDF, 857 Kb] as well as other measures that we will take to find the necessary cost savings.
Since January, we have been looking at all areas of the company for options to reduce our costs, and the government review panel made it clear we’re headed in the right direction.
To find these reductions, our updated rate application will be based on:
- Operating cost reductions;
- Capital project deferrals;
- Accounting adjustments and changes to amortization costs;
- Updating the trade income forecasts from Powerex, the BC Hydro subsidiary that buys and sells wholesale electricity in the marketplace.
Investment in electricity system continues
As you know, BC Hydro is in a regeneration phase and I am pleased that the review also endorsed our capital program. Over the next three years we will be investing in the province’s electricity system, improving and replacing aging facilities that were built primarily between 1950 and 1980.
We also need to continue our focus on conservation through Power Smart, so vital to helping meet the growing customer demand for power in B.C. And the first step in grid modernization and improved customer service is taking place, as we speak, with the installation of new, updated meters around the province.
British Columbia is blessed with among the cleanest electricity in the world. We have some of the lowest rates in all of North America. We have a thriving conservation culture.
I am confident that with your support, we will emerge from this period as a stronger utility that continues to deliver the electricity our growing economy will need for the next 50 years.