VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Some relief as we head into winter when BC Hydro usage tends to spike. Today, the BC government has announced hydro rates have been frozen and a three per cent hike planned for next year has been cancelled completely.
This move comes as part of a government commitment in September’s budget to phase out the provincial sales tax on electricity.
BC Energy Minister Michelle Mungall says rates have gone up by more than 24 per cent over the last four years and they’ve increased by more than 70 per cent since 2001.
“After years of escalating electricity costs, British Columbians deserve a break on their bills,” says Mungall. “From the moment we took office, we’ve taken action to make life more affordable. As part of that, we’re going to make sure that BC Hydro is working for the benefit of all British Columbians and that its rates reflect that commitment.”
Back in 2016, BC Hydro applied to the BC Utilities Commission for three years of increases, but that’s been pulled back.
The province says once its review of the utility is complete, any potential cost and revenue adjustments will be made in 2019.
A wide-ranging review of the crown corporation is also underway as we wait for a final decision on the fate of the Site C dam which could now cost rate-payers more than $10 billion.
Rates are now frozen until at least April of 2019.