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Request to lower BC Hydro rates isn't as good as it seems: Liberal MLA

Last Updated Aug 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm PDT

Summary

Kyllo says he thinks ratepayers would rather see rates normalize than yo-yo

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall says the lower rate hike was possible because of higher revenue

VICTORIA – The Liberal critic for BC Hydro is questioning why the NDP government is telling ratepayers they will see their bills lowered for the first time in decades if a new plan is approved.

Greg Kyllo says that while the proposal would see rates lowered by one per cent next year, it would still see an overall increase of more than six per cent over five years.

RELATED: Lower hydro bills in B.C. possible by next year

He calls that “smoke and mirrors” and says he thinks ratepayers would rather see rates normalize than yo-yo.

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall says the lower rate hike, which was originally planned at eight per cent, was possible because of higher than expected revenues and lower than expected debt servicing costs.

The reduction, if accepted by the utilities commission, would mean the first drop in hydro prices in decades. Power bills went up this past April and earlier this year, it was announced BC Hydro rates would rise eight per cent over five years.

A final decision is expected early next year.

With files from Martin MacMahon and Lasia Kretzel.