Monday, August 30, 2021

More recommendations released on goals of affordable electricity

The Province of British Columbia and BC Hydro have released some additional recommendations from the recent BC Hydro Review, which they are hopeful towards finding greater use of clean, renewable energy cross the province as well as to work to reduce emissions and achieve climate targets.

The information release from Friday noted the input from a panel of external energy experts, government officials and officials at BC Hydro to help towards developing the recommendations. Included among the items on the list:

Having BC Hydro consider providing more support for lower-income BC Hydro customers. 

These include incentives and exploring optional rates for customers to adopt electric heat pumps, and facilitating customer adoption of controllable energy devices that provide BC Hydro the ability to offer incentives in return for helping to manage a customer’s electricity use.

In July 2021, the Province announced a first set of recommendations from Phase 2 of the BC Hydro Review. The next announcement from Phase 2 will include recommendations to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road. 

In addition, as part of the Draft Action Plan to advance the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the Province is proposing to engage with Indigenous peoples to identify and support new clean energy opportunities related to CleanBC, the BC Hydro Review and the British Columbia Utilities Commission Indigenous Utilities Regulation Inquiry.

Bruce Ralston, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, noted of the provincial governments commitment towards a transition away from fossil fuels.

“Keeping life affordable for people is a key priority of our government. Affordable electricity rates not only help British Columbians, they help ensure the price of electricity remains competitive with other forms of energy, supporting the transition away from fossil fuels to clean electricity in our homes and buildings, vehicles and businesses.”

The goals towards that transition at times have met with some commentary from those with concerns on environmental issues, mostly related to the provincial themes of the Horgan government on themes of LNG development as well as to the construction of the Site C Hydro dam in the Peace Country.

The provincial approach towards electricity has also been tied into their work on reducing poverty, a theme that Nicholas Simons, the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction expanded on as part of the Friday release.

“As we promote increased use of electricity in B.C. to achieve our climate targets, we need to continue to focus on keeping electricity rates affordable, especially for lower-income families. Through the BC Hydro Review, and continuing engagement with stakeholders and organizations to follow, we are committed to finding ways to keep rates affordable, so everyone has access to the benefits of B.C.’s clean, reliable electricity.”

You can review full information package here.

For more notes on items of note from the Legislature see our archive page here.

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