Government steps in to hold the line on B.C. Hydro rates
Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman this week nannounced the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has been directed by the provincial government to reduce BC Hydro’s rate increases over three years by 50 per cent.
This is consistent with last year’s BC Hydro review.
In keeping with the Province’s commitment to provide affordable electricity rates for families, the 2011-12 increase will stay at 8 per cent as previously directed by the BCUC on an interim basis and implemented by BC Hydro on May 1.
For 2012-13, rates have gone up by 7.1 per cent, allowing BC Hydro to pay down its deferral and regulatory accounts at an accelerated pace.
This increase was also recommended by the BCUC and put in place on April 1, 2012. An average household has seen bills change by about $5.40 per month.
On April 1, 2013, rates will be kept to a minimum, rising by only 1.44 per cent or $1.20 for an average monthly bill.
The total rate increase over three years will be about 17 per cent, ensuring that British Columbian families pay among the lowest electricity rates in North America.
The provincial government and BC Hydro have achieved this rate reduction by lowering BC Hydro’s costs and by the Province forgoing $75 million in dividends over three years.