BC Hydro

Assets up, production down

In the real world, if a company grew its assets by $18 billion (138%) but reduced its production by 8%, heads would roll. In Premier Clark’s La La Land, party favours roll instead. Good Liberal CEO Jessica McDonald is secure in her job, at least until until May 9.


In the six years from 1996 to 2001, BC Hydro’s total assets averaged $11.8 billion. In the same period, its facilities generated an average of 50,522 GWh of electricity.

In March 2016, BC Hydro’s total assets equalled $30 billion and within six months, the total had grown to $31 billion. In the six years ending March 2016, its facilities generated an average of 46,396 GWh of electricity.



Sources are BC Hydro Annual Reports, including audited financial statements and tables of Sources of Supply.

Categories: BC Hydro

12 replies »

  1. Norm, can it be uncovered how much of the asset value is growth in “appraised value” of facilities and properties as opposed to the value of new transmission lines, transform stations, vehicles, etc? The former is “free” money (as it is when our house or collectibles grow in value), while the latter needs to be paid for by ratepayers.


    • The asset change from 2001 to 2016 includes $12 billion of acquisitions of property, plant and equipment, net of depreciation charges, and $6 billion added to “regulatory assets” that are mostly deferred costs that must be written off or added to PP&E. Mostly, these amounts are created to avoid declaring losses. The original intention was to smooth extraordinary expenses by deducting them over a few years. Liberals apparently intend to smooth over decades instead of years. More likely, they are using accounting trickery to hide losses, leaving someone else to deal with the problems in the future. The auditors, KPMG, have acquiesced, reminding this observer of the Enron audits conducted by Arthur Andersen LLP before 2002.

      The public has no access to value appraisals of BC Hydro assets so it is impossible to compare those to book values, if they exist. Plant and equipment values are amortized over the expected lifetime of assets and, if the rates are accurate, the asset values will be reasonably close to net amounts carried.


  2. Bc taxpayer- bc railed and icbceed and bc hydroeed
    Let the propaganda continue?
    Low/ no information voter in a low/ noinformation ghetto?
    Ipp power 2017 – paying 1.771 billion dollars when open rate buy would save a billion a year


  3. Norm it’s amazing the amount of work you do to keep informed about the real situation in BC. And although I realize your main focus is to reveal the truth which is desperately lacking in BC’s mainstream media, such information should make voters shake their heads and demand better government.
    However now I believe the opposite is true. People only care about one thing and that’s themselves. A good example of that is plastered all over the media today with the announcement the Iron workers union will be supporting Christy Clark & the BC Liberals. Who cares about our environment or that hydro rates will soon be unaffordable for thousands of taxpayers because workers can’t see beyond todays job.
    And although the evidence is in black and white that BC’s economy was led by real estate and nothing the Liberals did, it’s all about my job. and why do people care most about todays job, it’s because prices and fees have skyrocketed and people worry about how than can pay those fees and increased prices…. especially when it comes to real estate.
    Who cares how we got into this mess, tell me I have a job and that’s all that matters. And while the Liberals will take credit for something that doesn’t involve them, John Horgan is scaring people by opposing jobs. Taxpayers don’t want to hear that. And if John Horgan could take a page from Christy, he would support all future jobs and talk about how he will ensure that BC’ers will be first in line for those jobs. And even if it doesn’t hold true, who cares, because lying is the best way to move forward when you’re a politician in BC.

    Guy in Victoria


    • re: R

      A short time ago I started believing that maybe taxpayers were receiving the message and had grown tired of the scandals and lies from government. But not anymore. How many times have I read comments from voters suggesting the NDP had better start responding instead of what seems like a party in hiding. Then today we read that even union bosses are rejecting the NDP. I’m not sure what it will take to light a fire under Horgan’s butt. And unless he starts making waves and get some good press, he will be another Mr. nice guy like Adrian and lose the election.
      Horgan has to be creative and offering up tax dollars to babysit other peoples kids just won’t cut it in todays real world. Horgan should announce some real policies like introducing a river diverting tax to recoup some of the billions the Liberals have given away to private IPP’s.
      Something needs to happen… sooner rather than later.

      Guy in Victoria


      • Iron Workers Local 97 quit donating to the NDP just after the last election, despite contributing regularly and exclusively to the NDP for many years. It then started donating to the BC Liberals.

        It’s clear the decision was made four years ago, and held for maximum impact (including a public kiss from Christy in the Legislature) until just before this election. Strategic dirty pool coordinated with the BC Liberals.

        “How do I go to my members and say I need you to support the NDP when they are against everything the ironworker stands for?” says its business manager.

        I wonder if he realizes that means by his own implication he’s saying his members stand for the BC Liberals’ record on poverty rates, deaths of children in care, improper firing of employees leading to at least one suicide, massive debt, assaults on public education that have to be reined in by the Supreme Court, serial lies to the public, the many atrocious and illegal facets of BC Rail, etc. etc. etc.? He and his members are in bed with a nasty piece of business; for a buck. There’s a name for that.


  4. Could it be that the Liberals will intentionally fold , lose the election and leave it to the NDP to make the difficult decisions at BC Hydro?
    Having done that the NDP would become unpopular thus leading to a Liberal majority the next time around??


    • An interesting possibility but I think 2013 gave Liberals unlimited confidence in their ability to manipulate voters with outrageous lies and appeals to prejudice. Who can forget the question, “What would you do with a trillion dollars from BC Prosperity Fund?”, asked by Premier Clark supplicant Pamela Martin? (Where’s that $35 billion of government revenue you promised we’d have in four years, Pamela?)

      The science of manipulating search engines and social media has advanced since 2013 and it is expensive. That is why for a solid year, influence peddling Liberals focused not on governing but on fundraising. They will rely on old fashioned, all-pervasive charlatanry, but also cutting edge thought manipulation. They have an overflowing war chest and plans to hit you multiple times during each hour of interaction with media of any sort, new or old

      By comparison, Liberal opponents have energy, ideas and few strings attached. But, they have almost no money. The May election is an event where cash that should be in the provincial treasury will be used by corrupt Liberal politicians to convince us they should be allowed to continue the swindle.


  5. Port Mann Bridge ‘profit’ is eight years behind schedule and once it is up and running it will take 13 years to cover the 8 years shortfall but will be finally paid off by 2050. Having said that what is not mentioned by anyone is the rider placed within the Bridge replacement for the Tunnel ….. future interest rates … which means that 2050 may be a tad premature.

    “The greatest financial risk is with respect to future interest rates, which will be mitigated through long-term borrowing strategy for the Project”

    George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project Budget Transparency and Accountability Act Disclosure:



    • This is how I see it:

      There is so much debt everywhere – government, personal, mortgage, etc., that if interest rates go up, there will be a mess of bankruptcies.

      Central banks will do everything they can to prevent interest rates from going up.

      The result of low interest rates being even more debt.


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