Moody’s Investors Service issued a warning this week about rising debt at B.C. Hydro. In the first six months of fiscal year 2017, term debt increased $1.3 billion to $19.5 billion.
That number is up $7.8 billion during Christy Clark’s time as Premier, which is an increase larger than the total term debt incurred in the utility’s first 48 years of operation. Of course, debt has been rising quickly despite current consumption being the lowest in the preceding 12 years.
The Moody’s report, paid for by the Province of BC, noted that BC Hydro finances are among the weakest of Canadian provincial utilities. It also acknowledged that, with the Site C dam and other planned spending, BC Hydro debt will rise by $20 billion in the near future.
The chart of term debt shown above does not include the contractual commitments to independent power producers. That total is only reported annually and it stood at $58.3 billion at March, 2016.
It also does not include the $7.2 billion of intangibles and deferred costs that are carried as “assets” but are actually previous expenditures that will be written off at some future time, if BC Hydro begins adhering to strict Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).