Dave Cobb is president and CEO of BC Hydro.

Electricity users in for regular rate jolts

Bills projected to rise 10 per cent each year

Expect to see your household’s monthly electricity bill climb $7 in each of the next three years.

BC Hydro is now projecting a series of rate increases that will raise a typical monthly residential bill by $21 – a nearly 30 per cent jump from $71 to $92 – by 2013.

The Crown corporation needs to raise $6 billion to upgrade aging power stations, transmission lines and the Vancouver city centre transmission system.

“To pay for these much-needed projects, we need to increase rates, while still looking at every way to keep them among the lowest in North America,” BC Hydro president and CEO Dave Cobb said in a statement Dec. 2.

The planned hikes mean a typical home will pay about $250 more in 2013 than it did this year.

B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre executive director Jim Quail said the rate increases are likely to continue indefinitely, with electricity bills doubling about every eight years.

“There’s no end in sight,” he said. “A number of their projections are probably optimistic. We think If anything it’s conservative.”

The much higher cost of modern power infrastructure compared to the dams built in the 1960s is the main reason.

But Quail also blames policy decisions like buying higher priced “clean” electricity from run-of-river power plants and the move to install smart meters in every home, which he predicts will be a billion-dollar boondoggle rather than an investment paying off in conservation.

For now, Hydro customers may see some short-term rate relief.

The utility had raised rates 9.3 per cent on an interim basis last April, but regulators at the B.C. Utilities Commission have ruled only a 7.29 per cent increase was justified. Customers should get the difference refunded in early 2011.

Just Posted

Parents rally to support LGBT education in Abbotsford schools

Small demonstration held in the rain to counter anti-SOGI rhetoric

PHOTOS: Just days after good deed in Whalley, vandals torch North Surrey Tigers clubhouse

The team recently spent the evening feeding the homeless along 135A Street

Soccer provincials features stark Surrey talent

Five teams from Delta & Surrey competing in provincials this week

Sold-out crowd rocked Langley twin’s greenhouse charity gala

Volunteers credited with making party profitable for sick kids at Canuck Place.

Surrey City Orchestra idea hits right notes with backers, who eye proposed concert hall as home

Plan for new pro orchestra calls for debut season of five concerts starting in fall of 2019

VIDEO: Surrey family trying to help desperate earthquake victims in Iraq and Iran

They’ve set up a gofundme.com page, Sarpol-e-Zahab Earthquake Relief

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

VIDEO: It’s ‘disrespectful’ that White Rock council not notified of Trudeau visit: mayor

PM should be welcomed to city by council, not former mayor and First Nation chief, Baldwin says

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

Union contests layoffs at Maple Ridge motel

Demonstration planned for today at former Quality Inn

Full Cupboard Holiday Program: Raising food, funds and awareness.

Envision Financial and Langley Advance support area food banks this season

Pitt Meadows councillor convicted of sex assault resigns from job

David Murray will retire from work with city of Port Coquitlam

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

Most Read