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Breaking down BC Hydro’s rate increase

May 3, 2011

A virtual cornucopia of fascinating information flows through the BCCGE mailroom every day. 

It’s literally more information than the guys could ever possibly hope to sift through and process in its entirety.  But they never fail to ferret out the most important items and bring them to everyone’s attention.

Last week was no exception.  That’s when an email came our way quantifying the very minor impact that electricity purchases from independent green energy producers is going to have on rising BC Hydro rates.

According to information contained in BC Hydro’s recent rate increase application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), of the total 32 percent increase proposed by BC Hydro over the next three years, only 2.6 percent is attributable to green energy purchases.

To put that 2.6 percent into context we had Kumar, our BCCGE mailroom intern, run the numbers for us.

Based on the interim 8 percent rate increase already approved by the BCUC (which BC Hydro estimates will result in a $5-6 per month increase on an average residential customer’s bill), no more than 40-48 cents per month is attributable to green energy purchases.

As Kumar quite rightly points out, this is less than 50 cents per month and less than what a coffee at Starbucks might cost you.

Of course, the corollary of the 40-48 cents per month attributable to green energy is that the remaining 92 percent of BC Hydro’s proposed rate increase is due solely to the cost of renewing the crown utility’s publicly owned energy infrastructure.

That means, of the $5-6 increase that an average BC Hydro residential customer will see on their hydro bill, $4.60 to $5.52 is directly related to the renewal of BC Hydro’s own aging infrastructure.

As always, the boys in the BCCGE mailroom are hopeful that this kind of quantitative information will help put a stopper in the emerging myth that BC Hydro’s rates are going up because of independent green energy producers.  The boys have seen this nasty myth popping up a lot lately and it’s become their Osama bin Laden.

Unfortunately for the truth, no team of elite Navy SEALs is going to nuke the COPE 378 myth machine or drop in on Rafe Mair’s next gathering of gullible people.  So it’s up to the boys in the BCCGE mailroom to do their best to get the facts out.

The boys in the BCCGE mailroom are continuing to pour over the information they received last week and gleaning as much insight as they can from it.  There was a lot of detailed information and they’ve told us all to stay tuned. 

So stay tuned.  More is yet to come.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. John Newcomb permalink
    June 3, 2011 5:19 pm

    Somehow that “… $5-6 increase that an average BC Hydro residential customer will see on their hydro bill…” has become $5 -6 million in David Field’s letter in the Comox Valley News ( However, I think most readers will see that has just a typo. Others might be somewhat concerned!

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  1. BC Hydro review riles frantic COPE 378 « The BCCGE Livewire

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