Friday, August 23, 2019
Lower Hydro bills may be in the future ... should BCHydro's lower rate request be granted
A break on your Hydro bill could be on the way next year as BC Hydro makes an application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission to seek a decrease in the rate it charges its residential, business and industrial customers.
BC Hydro has based its request from its audited fiscal results for 2019 and the latest financial forecast that anticipates higher than expected income from its trading subsidiary Powerex, as well as lower than anticipated forecast debt financing and lower than anticipated purchases from Independent Power producers.
Chris O'Reilly, BC Hydro's President and CEO notes that if approved by the BC Utilities Commission, the rate decrease would come into effect as of April 1st of 2020.
“As a result of our updated financial forecast, we’re in the unique position to apply for a rate decrease for our customers that would start on April 1, 2020, if approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission. BC Hydro. We’re committed to continue to work with government and the B.C. Utilities Commission to keep rates affordable while ensuring we continue to provide safe, reliable power to the province.”
If approved by the BC Utilities Commission, the updated rate will reduce the average residential customer's annual electricity costs by up to $16 starting in April 2020.
Commercial customers' annual electricity costs will be reduced by up to $715 and industrial customers by up to $230,000.
Over the next five years, the cumulative bill increase is estimated to be 6.2 per cent – 23 per cent lower than the 8.1 per cent net bill increase announced following phase 1 of government's comprehensive review of BC Hydro.
The forecast net bill impacts over the next four years are estimated to be:
April 2020: decrease of 0.99 per cent
April 2021: increase of 2.7 per cent
April 2022: decrease of 0.3 per cent
April 2023: increase of 3 per cent
BC Hydro outlined the nature of its rate reduction request through their website.
BC NDP Cabinet Minister, Michelle Mungall got to take on the task of sharing some welcome news for consumers. With the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources outlining some of the notes on the BC Hydro request today.
“For the past two years, our government has been focused on making sure BC Hydro works for people again.I am thrilled that BC Hydro is now able to apply for a rate reduction for the first time in decades. If approved by our independent regulator, lower rates would make life better and more affordable for British Columbians.”
The Provincial government's notes on the announcement can be reviewed here.
The BC Utilities Commission is not expected to make a final decision on BC Hydros rate request until early in 2020.
At the moment, the Commission is putting together its public review process for BC Hydro's year one evaluation of the Customer Crisis Fund
For more items of interest related to BC Hydro see our archive page.
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