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

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce

The company says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Black belt tests on this week at Kootenay Martial Arts

Grandmaster Brenda Sell returns to assist in testing

UPDATED: Four Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization

Nelson’s police chief has no plans to close them down

Nelson candidates debate climate change at forum

Mayoral and council candidates had the chance to speak on five fictional resolutions

VIDEO: Candidates at Nelson election forum

Mayoral candidates joined 18 council candidates for an evening of very short answers

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Baby boomer buba shares heartfelt novel with Okanagan audience

Pauline Daniel will be at Vernon’s Bookland and library Oct. 20

Most Read