A BC Hydro web page online continues today to proclaim a blatant falsehood:
One thing is clear: the demand for electricity is expected to grow –almost 40% over the next 20 years.
The 40% demand growth over 20 years is a fantasy spun for so long that it is baked into BC Hydro’s DNA. No surprise. Not spending billions of dollars every year to expand a system with stable demand would leave more than a handful of affluent folks looking for work.
While public relations minions work to convince ratepayers that demand growth is inexorable, bean counters who are subject to audit reveal a different story.
BC Hydro’s newly released report for the six months ended September 30, shows that electricity sold to residential, commercial and industrial customers dropped by more than 3% from the same period a year before.
In fact, sales were 4% less in this period of 2019 than in the same period of 2005.
Compared to the first half of FY 2006, BC Hydro experienced reduced demand but bought additional power from IPPs during the first half of FY 2020.
Nevertheless, in the 14 years after September 2005, the company tripled its total assets from $12 billion to $37 billion.
Being aware that civil servants can tell lies without consequences, our public utility employs them elsewhere.
A current multi-million dollar public relations program states “BC Hydro electricity is an incredible 98% clean“.
But much of the power purchased by the company is produced by burning gas, coal or biofuels.
Writing for The Narwhal, Sarah Cox explains:
Behind the sheen of its CleanBC program, the province holds back hydro power to instead import cheap electricity from 12 states including Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska and Montana which generate 55 to 90 per cent of their power from coal.
Before the 2017 election, I was assured by senior NDP members that fixing BC Hydro was a very high priority. Instead, John Horgan’s government continues policies similar to Liberal predecessors and in energy matters, chooses to be similarly economical with the truth.
There are more matters of concern revealed in BC Hydro’s second quarter statement.
For the six months ended September 2019, before changes in regulatory balances, the company reported a loss of $611 million versus a profit of $378 million in the same period of 2018.
That is a shocking billion-dollar turnaround and the year is only half over and shows the company is again using questionable accounting to conceal its true condition.
This ship is sinking but despite earlier promises, the master is on the bridge shouting, “Steady as she goes.“