Category: BC Hydro

Never retreat, never retract…

BC Hydro suffers a lack of managerial competence, contempt for fiduciary responsibilities, a disregard for present day energy realities and, perhaps most important, a failure of vision. The first exists because Government turned the company into a politicized utility, with senior managers and board members selected for Liberal Party loyalty, not for competence. As a result, BC Hydro dares not plot a new course with even a hint that recent energy policies have been a grand mistake.

Disaster warning

There is an “extremely high probability” that Site C will be delayed by at least one year according to a comprehensive report prepared by international dam construction expert, E. Harvey Elwin, who reviewed a number of confidential documents obtained by West Moberly First Nations in the leadup to their court application for an injunction to halt work on the project. Mr. Elwin’s report contradicts recent assurances by Energy Minister Michelle Mungall praising BC Hydro for doing “a fantastic job” and claiming the project is on track with its current schedule and budget.

Power from the powerful

Politically connected individuals took advantage of citizens’ desire for clean, renewable energy and the Liberals wrote contracts with “lucky firms” that bore no relationship to market prices, guaranteed massive private profits and ensured all financial risks stayed with the public. The contracts in British Columbia last as long as sixty years and allow prices that are as much as 5x market value. In addition, the contracts have annual inflation escalators, a privilege allowed no other commercial segment. All taxpayers get is more power to sell at a loss.

Government review of BC Hydro is specious

Some may be able to moderate use of electricity from the provincial grid but almost no individual can stop being a BC Hydro consumer. That fact obliges politicians to ensure the company is operated with maximum efficiency for the benefit of every citizen, not the relative handfull that are rewarded by BC Hydro’s misconceived spending plans. Sadly, the Horgan Government does not agree. Utility policies and company management are almost unchanged during the last 11 months and the recently announced review is specious.

Financial destruction of BC Hydro

Simple financial analysis demonstrates that management of BC Hydro during recent years was thoroughly incompetent. Largely, that is explained by policies and people imposed by BC Liberals on a utility that had served the public proficiently for more than four decades…

Organizational inertia and Site C

The decision to proceed with Site C was not based on need for power by BC consumers. Demand is this province has been more or less unchanged since 2005… While the NDP has done much to change the direction of government in BC, they’ve been paralyzed when it comes energy policies. BC Hydro has been a troubled organization for years and it will not be rescued by timid actions. That’s bad news for every BC business and ever resident who consumes electricity.

Priorities

There is a small group of people — BC Liberals and friends — who viewed BC Hydro as a giant faucet for disbursement of cash. It is a costly reality for consumers of electricity in British Columbia…

Solar power unstoppable, even on the wet coast

Dave Melrose, a reader who is in the solar installation business, commented on my previous article Death knell for net metering. He worries that people could be misinformed because I didn’t make clear that self-generation of electricity remains viable for homeowners. People tell me a 15-year payback on solar installations is common, even without selling excess power to the utility. However, having studied the financial statements of BC Hydro, I know that huge rate increases are coming. These will shorten the solar system payback considerably…

Liberal amounts of fake accounting

Residents of British Columbia understand financial pain that follows when officeholders subvert public utilities to gain political advantage and reward special interests. BC Liberals aimed to privatize public assets and services. When it could not be achieved overtly, it was done by stealth. After inevitable failures and disasters, legislators concealed them by employing a broad misinformation strategy. BC’s success in duping the public on utility matters encouraged Ontario Liberals to adopt accounting fakery in their own province…

Death knell for net metering

BC Hydro fears the amount of power fed to the grid by participants in net metering will expand substantially. As a result, this week the utility announced they intend to change the program so that it is not available to customers generating power beyond their own energy needs…

Plug pulled on PowerBC

Before John Horgan was sworn in as Premier, BC NDP promoted a wise alternative to construction of Site C, a dam that would cost many billions of dollars and had no certain customers for electricity generated. “Clean energy and energy conservation technology will increasingly power our economy and drive the jobs of the future. A major energy efficiency retrofit program for B.C. just makes sense. And retrofits will create meaningful skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians across the province, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Private power – BC’s unmitigated financial disaster

The Horgan Government indicated it will conduct a review of private power purchases but lifting contract secrecy is the one thing that could be done immediately. It is inconceivable that IPPs could prove damages from publication of contracts since the business terms are widely known throughout the industry. Secrecy only exists to protect politicians and utility executives from being accountable for massive financial mistakes.