MLA Report: Government interference in BC Hydro cause of rate increases

In his MLA Report, Norm Macdonald says government intervention in BC Hydro affairs is the cause of upcoming rate hikes.

In my last MLA report concerning the increase in BC Hydro rates, I stated that the decisions that have been most costly to the financial well-being of this Crown corporation have been made by the BC Liberal Premier and cabinet.  Two of these decisions that I would like to discuss further are long-term energy purchase agreements with private power producers and the installation of smart meters.

BC Hydro has long operated on the ‘buy or produce low, and sell a bit higher’ concept. Using this model, BC Hydro was able ensure that the power needs of British Columbians were met, and the rates for power were kept very reasonable for individual ratepayers, businesses, institutions and industry.  Much of the economic success of the province has been aided by this fact; our rates for power were amongst the lowest in the country.

But with the advent of the BC Liberal Energy Plan in 2006, the government imposed a new concept on BC Hydro: buy high, sell low. And with this new model, we watched BC Hydro go from being a highly profitable, dividend-bearing Crown corporation to being saddled with debt. So much damage in such a short amount of time.

The BC Liberal government forced BC Hydro to sign long-term energy purchase agreements with private power producers at rates that were far above the market.  And they were forced to buy this power even though it was surplus to the needs of the province. As a result, the market rate for this surplus power was very low.  Even the most profitable company can only sustain this kind of loss for so long.

The second example of government interference that is now costing you money was Premier Gordon Campbell’s decision that every analog BC Hydro meter would be replaced by a smart meter.  Aside from all the concerns that have been raised about the safety or appropriateness of smart meters, from the very first moment it was clear that there was no business plan to ensure this expenditure made sense. There was no proof that the $1 billion cost would be recovered, nor that any benefit would be accrued to ratepayers, the environment or the economy.

There is a price to be paid for these bad decisions.  And who ultimately pays that bill?  You do.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River—Revelstoke

 

Just Posted

Chef’s Fare: The best fast food takes the longest

Josh White Special to the Review The idea of writing about quick… Continue reading

Hip Hop artist playing The Last Drop April 23

Hip Hop has remained relatively unheard of in the rocky mountain region,… Continue reading

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Lucky Monkey playing Revelstoke April 25

Sports fans and music industry watchers excited as PGA Pro golfer releases… Continue reading

Revelstoke sees 4th Annual Trashion Show

Birch and Lace threw the event once again

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

South Okanagan society looking to bring new racing event to their park

The Desert Park Exhibition Society board is looking into hosting another major event

Youth Shelter Fundraiser encourages kids to play for a good cause

The fundraiser takes place April 27 at the EnergyPlex

Okanagan power outage scuttles – but not ruins – city’s mission’s Easter meals

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission will serve Easter dinner a day later due to downtown power outage

Waterway Houseboats wins $2 million for damages caused in 2012 flood

Houseboat company wins lawsuit involving Province of British Columbia, District of Sicamous

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Netflix filming in North Okanagan

Multiple downtown locations and scenic areas to star in TV production

Pelicans spotted in Peachland

Four American white pelicans were caught on camera on Okanagan Lake

EDITORIAL: Time to end a pipeline feud

B.C. would not be the only one to lose if Jason Kenney makes good on his promise to turn off the tap

Most Read