BC Hydro

Same story, different style

This is from a graphic story by the Los Angeles Times newspaper:

la times xxx


lat 4


Editor’s Note:

In the same period, BC Hydro’s per KWh price for sales to residential, commercial and industrial customers rose 63%.




With more than a decade of flat demand and huge power supplies coming from generating assets constructed many years ago, BC Hydro should have kept rate increases to a minimum, as have utilities throughout North America.

It is not hard to determine why prices increases in BC have been 5x the percentage in California. Three letters explain: IPP.

We’ve already paid the private producers about $10 billion for electricity that could have been available on the open market for around $3 billion.

Additionally, BC Hydro spent close to $1 billion of public funds on the NW powerline and associated infrastructure. These costly-to-maintain facilities primarily serve AltaGas and Red Chris Mines (like Mount Polley, controlled by billionaire Murray Edwards‘ Imperial Metals).

Operating on 60-year inflation protected supply contracts,  AltaGas delivers overpriced power while Red Chris consumes electricity but defers payment of 100% of its electricity bills. One could not construct a more disastrous set of business transactions. They are so bad, BC Hydro’s underlying motivations must be questioned.

Remember, BC has been selling Americans its Canadian entitlement under the Columbia River Treaty. The prices received are 1/3 or less of what Site C power will cost. The new dam’s capacity is roughly equivalent to our entitlement.

So, why do we choose the most expensive, harmful option?  Again, question the political motivation. The largest contractors on Site C have a record of involvement in corrupting public officials.

Categories: BC Hydro

6 replies »

  1. Why does this information leave me with a foul taste in my mouth and a hole in my pocket?
    Is there not someone out there with a modicum of authority that could run this ship ashore? C’mon you guys – are none of you able to match wits with a high school dropout? (sorry, she did finish high school. I wonder though if she completed the ethics course.)


  2. “AltaGas delivers overpriced power while Red Chris consumes electricity but defers payment of 100% of its electricity bills.”

    Good grief.

    Losses will have to be made up by hydro rate-payers, namely: us.


  3. Your editor’s note states that the KWh price has increased 63% since 2008. I’m looking at my paper Hydro bill from April 28, 2008 and the KWh price was .0615. Today it’s .12430 at step 2 which is a 102% increase. The basic daily charge was .1213. Today it’s .1835 which is a 51% increase. The rate rider charge was .5% and today it’s 5% which is a 1000% increase. And we have another increase coming in a few weeks. I would recommend that everyone read their meter at midnight on March 31. Last year BC Hydro underestimated my usage by 450 KWh which meant that this amount was charged at the new rate. They also underestimated my usage by approximately the same amount for the two previous increases which makes me think they’ve been doing this all along since the Liberals and their associates started their grift of BC Hydro.


    • You make a good point but, rather than reporting a single consumer’s experience, yours or mine, I use averages calculated by sales figures reported in BC Hydro’s annual and quarterly reports.

      BC Hydro’s average sale prices to BC consumers in 2008 were:
      residential: 6.67¢ / KWh,
      commercial and light industrial: 5.73¢ / KWh,
      heavy industrial: 3.48¢ / KWh

      BC Hydro’s average sale prices to BC consumers in Q1 & Q2 FY2017 were:
      residential: 10.83¢ / KWh, (+62%)
      commercial and light industrial: 9.46¢ / KWh, (+64%)
      heavy industrial: 5.70¢ / KWh (+65%)


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