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BC Hydro asks for 2.3% rate increase to start spring 2024

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says the province’s Crown power utility is applying for a 2.3-per-cent rate increase starting in April, adding about $2 a month to the average residential bill. 

A statement from the Energy Ministry says it’s the sixth year in a row that BC Hydro has applied for an increase below the rate of inflation.

It says rates are currently 15.6 per cent lower than the cumulative rate of inflation over the last seven years, starting in 2017-2018, and 12.4 per cent lower than the 10-year rates plan established by the previous government in 2013.

The ministry says the “modest” rate increase application comes after consideration of a variety of options and their long-term impacts, and the B.C. Utilities Commission is expected to decide on the plan by the end of February.

Chris O’Riley, president of BC Hydro, says the rates application would keep electricity costs in the province among the lowest in North America while supporting investments in clean energy to power vehicles, homes and businesses.

Energy Minister Josie Osborne says it’s more important than ever to keep electricity bills down as the cost of living rises at rates that are unsustainable for many.

“Affordable, stable BC Hydro rates are good for people, businesses and climate as we work together to power our growing economy with renewable energy instead of fossil fuels,” Osborne says in a statement issued Monday.

Earlier this year, the ministry said BC Hydro provided $315 million in cost-of-living bill credits to families and small businesses in the province, including those who receive their electricity service from FortisBC or a municipal utility.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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