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NEWS RELEASE · 17th February 2012

In a clear rebuke of the B.C. Liberals’ attempts to continue to hide and defer the costs of mismanaged energy policy, the B.C. Utilities Commission has ruled B.C. Hydro must double the Deferral Account Rate Rider, says New Democrat energy critic John Horgan.

“This is why we have the BCUC,” said Horgan. “The Liberals have been interfering with B.C. Hydro for 10 years, adding costs and putting off expenses to future generations, and now the chickens have come home to roost.”

The B.C. Utilities Commission rejected B.C. Hydro’s request to continue paying back their growing deferral accounts with a 2.5 per cent “rate rider,” ruling instead that the premium already being paid by ratepayers must double to at least five per cent beginning Apr. 1, 2012.

“This is a clear indictment of the way the Liberals have been running B.C. Hydro. The government’s job is to set policy, not rates,” said Horgan.

“The Liberals’ internal review panel went looking for ways to lower rate increases, but the Utilities Commission has now said they won’t allow the billions accumulating in the deferral accounts to continue to grow.”

Last October, the Auditor General issued a scathing report showing B.C. Hydro has racked up $2.2 billion in deferral accounts, a number set to rise to $5 billion by 2017.

The BCUC wrote in its Reasons for Decision on Feb. 15, 2012: “Recent history indicates that the Deferral Account net balances have continued and are continuing to grow, without any opportunity in sight to clear them.”

The BCUC’s ruling accepted B.C. Hydro’s requested rate increase of 3.91 per cent, but noted it was because there is “no precedent for the Commission to grant a higher interim rate than sought by the Applicant.” B.C. Hydro originally requested a 9.73 per cent increase, plus the continued 2.5 per cent Deferral Account Rate Rider, but lowered their request to 3.91 per cent after the Liberals ordered the change.

“Premier Christy Clark made a cynical move to try to lower the required rate increases B.C. Hydro needs to pay for 11 years of the Liberals’ total mismanagement of the Crown corporation,” said Horgan. “The damage is done, and B.C. Hydro is teetering on the brink. No one wants to see higher rates, but the blame for this rests squarely with the B.C. Liberals."
a raise
Comment by larry b on 17th February 2012
I suppose this will mean a big raise for the new C.E.O. Maybe they ll be able to send more managment offshore so we wont be able to understand them when we have trouble with our smartmeters
Agree Bryon
Comment by Karen on 17th February 2012
Just what I was thinking Bryon. With homes sporting smart meters it just makes privatizing the crown corp. all the more attractive to prospective buyers.

Much like adding a few brand new rail cars to BC Rail before orchastrating the sale to CN.

I wonder if the BC Liberals already have a buyer in mind (rumour has it that before Campbell became premier he was planning the sale of BC Rail and maybe even that CN would win the bid).
Comment by richard on 17th February 2012
maybe china has interests in bc hydro.controll the resorces,they`ll controll bc.mmmmmm them red army unionaforms,found in a bc port may have a use for them.china`s immergrating to bc. before you know it,there here! your resorces no longer belong to bc. china`s got you by the balls. they`ll be here looking after china`s investors best interests. done deal now how long will it take to start incarseration ,of canadains. harper promised new jails coming near you...maybe he sell off human organs. it is a resorce.not much left, what do canadains have when it`s all gone.oooooooo two panda`s. one hell of a deal.cheaper to stuff the dam things.they don`t belong in canada.yet the nothern gate way pipeline will kill anything in it`s path.greed kills.we could be next.
For sale BC Hydro
Comment by Bryon Heighington on 17th February 2012
This just goes to show that the Liberal Goverment is setting up BC Hydro for a Fire sale. Smart meters are one of the changes to raise your Hydro rate. Say NO!!!! to changing to a Smart meter.