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Old 09-11-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
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BC Hydro forecasts 'massive' rate increases

BC Hydro forecasts 'massive' rate increases
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Homeowners, small businesses and industrial users are facing a staggering 26.4-per-cent electricity rate increase from 2014 to 2016, according to a confidential BC Hydro document. B.C. Energy Minister Bill Bennett said Tuesday the coming hike will not be that high. However, in an interview, he said he could not put a number to it.

According to a Rates Working Group document dated Aug. 23, 2013 obtained by The Vancouver Sun, the electricity rate increase is necessary to pay for Hydro's costs, which are estimated to rise to $4.8 billion in 2016 from $3.8 billion in 2014.

The increased revenues are needed in the two years to pay for capital additions ($515 million), smoothing out rates from year to year ($160 million) and contracts with independent power projects such as run-of-the-river hydro ($135 million), said the internal document.

The cost increases are also linked to deferring the payment of dam and transmission upgrades ($130 million), interest rates ($40 million) and other items ($10 million). Increasing operating costs ($15 million) are having much less effect on the pressure to increase rates.

Another 8.4-per-cent increase is forecast in 2017, after which rates continue to increase but at a slower pace.

By the end of the decade, rates are forecast to increase 41.5 per cent from 2014. The increase is expected to reach 57.3 per cent by 2024.
I am simply beyond words... Holy WTF?! Where is my 26.4% salary increase between now and 2016? or my 41.5% by 2020? or my 57.3% by 2024?
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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unless you're raking in the big bucks... not really much you can do but offset this increase by decreasing/downsizing something else..
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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Nothing quite like a major price hike to get people's attention. But before start freaking out about the rate increase, how about compare our electricity rate to other North American cities? Maybe we were just paying low rate for so long and this is just bring ours inline with other cities?
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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We knew this was coming. They have been flat out telling you, "we be f**ked" for a year now. For anyone that didn't get the subtle hint, there was the settlement with California. Well played boys! I still don't get the details on that one.

They are dealing with this in other points of Canada. People are bitter right now in NS about power rates that have already shifted up.

And everyone can enjoy that those capital improvements are being done solely to benefit natural gas extraction. The site C dam isn't needed to support usage rates.

And ultimately, the final vestige of "cheap" in BC, our power rates has now been eliminated.

You have to really want to enjoy those mountains now.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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I am simply beyond words... Holy WTF?! Where is my 26.4% salary increase between now and 2016? or my 41.5% by 2020? or my 57.3% by 2024?
We've been paying cheaper than market rates for years. Smartphones, plasmas, baseboard heaters, and servers aren't exactly misers when it comes to power either.

But it's always easier to blame others for the position we're in. If you aren't making enough money to make a living, there are a few things you can do:
- Move
- Earn more money by getting a new job, or showing value to your company
- Suck it up and make adjustments
- Or... become a government fat-cat yourself!
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
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Nothing quite like a major price hike to get people's attention. But before start freaking out about the rate increase, how about compare our electricity rate to other North American cities? Maybe we were just paying low rate for so long and this is just bring ours inline with other cities?
BC residents pay 8.256 cents/kWh
TO residents pay 13.669 cents/kWh
EDM residents pay 12.839 cents/kWh
MTL residents pay 7.036 cents/kWh

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Old 09-11-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
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Tiem to steal power from your neighbours!
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #8
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^ Don't forget that Hydro Quebec basically screwed Newfoundland and Labrador over for its low hydro prices today.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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Smartphones, plasmas, baseboard heaters, and servers aren't exactly misers when it comes to power either.
This is nothing close to the problem.

A poorly managed crown corp that has been cooking their books in terms of liabilities while at the same time investing, sorry, "investing" in dubious capital projects is the issue.

Do a little reading on the run of river projects and the power level and rate guarantees at politician pressure as opposed to need and market rates to see where they got in this situation.

They guarantee to buy certain power amounts at rates more than they can generate their own power for.

Site C. There is a book on Site C itself.

No, your powerbook is NOT the problem.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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Government-run companies. Ughhhh.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #11
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This is nothing close to the problem.

A poorly managed crown corp that has been cooking their books in terms of liabilities while at the same time investing, sorry, "investing" in dubious capital projects is the issue.

Do a little reading on the run of river projects and the power level and rate guarantees at politician pressure as opposed to need and market rates to see where they got in this situation.

They guarantee to buy certain power amounts at rates more than they can generate their own power for.

Site C. There is a book on Site C itself.

No, your powerbook is NOT the problem.
Okay, so now what? We fire the executives who made the poor decisions, but we're still on the hook for their bad decisions (unless of course, the corp reneges on its deals so we can all save a few bucks.)

There has always been political pressure to keep rates low. We're all at least partly to blame for the mess Hydro is in.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:50 AM   #12
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BC Hydro is just as bad as Translink.. People just don't know that yet.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:53 AM   #13
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BC residents pay 8.256 cents/kWh
TO residents pay 13.669 cents/kWh
EDM residents pay 12.839 cents/kWh
MTL residents pay 7.036 cents/kWh

BC pays in a 2-tier system -- 6.9 cents/kWh for the first 1350kWh, then 10.34 cents after
Ontario pays on a 3-tier system based on peak/off-peak hours, and ranges from 6.7 cent/kWh to 12.4 cent/kWh
Our neighbours down in Washington pays 8.82 cents/kWh, whereas the US averages around 12.54 cent/kWh

The US numbers can be found here:
EIA - Electricity Data

Because of better efficiencies, we are really using less power on a per captia basis. But because of the overall population growth, our collective need for power continues to grow.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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theres nothing that irks me more than graphs that dont start at zero
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #15
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hmmmmmm



Spoiler!
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #16
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hmmmmmm



Spoiler!
It would take nearly a life time to pay back the costs of installing something like that. And then you'd have to consider maintenance costs for that system.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #17
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^^ Not to mention that here in Raincouver, solar panels just plain aren't gonna work well.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:41 PM   #18
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This is nothing close to the problem.

A poorly managed crown corp that has been cooking their books in terms of liabilities while at the same time investing, sorry, "investing" in dubious capital projects is the issue.

Do a little reading on the run of river projects and the power level and rate guarantees at politician pressure as opposed to need and market rates to see where they got in this situation.

They guarantee to buy certain power amounts at rates more than they can generate their own power for.

Site C. There is a book on Site C itself.

No, your powerbook is NOT the problem.
I think this situation is a lot more of the government's doing, than BC Hydro's own management's doing.

The government basically told Hydro "No you can't upgrade your infrastructure, lining the pockets of private "independent power producers" is more our game"

Private independent power producers can suck my dick. It's orders of magnitude more efficient to have one giant plant, than many tiny little plants everywhere. And what happens if these private companies go under? Who's going to be stuck running & maintaining all these tiny facilities everywhere? That's right, Hydro.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:43 PM   #19
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hmmmmmm



Spoiler!
BCIT just did that in their parking lot of wayburne
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:19 PM   #20
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BCIT just did that in their parking lot of wayburne
I was wondering what those things were. I wonder if it was from free student labour
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #21
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Christy Clark rejects suggestion of 26-per-cent hydro rate hike - The Globe and Mail

"B.C. Premier Christy Clark says suggested hydro rate hikes amounting to 26 per cent over the next two years won’t be approved, but she cautions that infrastructure upgrades are going to be needed."
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #22
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I think this situation is a lot more of the government's doing, than BC Hydro's own management's doing.

The government basically told Hydro "No you can't upgrade your infrastructure, lining the pockets of private "independent power producers" is more our game"

Private independent power producers can suck my dick. It's orders of magnitude more efficient to have one giant plant, than many tiny little plants everywhere. And what happens if these private companies go under? Who's going to be stuck running & maintaining all these tiny facilities everywhere? That's right, Hydro.
This is the problem with crown corps. Now, I'm going to get into the other problem in a second, ie, de-reged former crown corps, also known as "why Halifax is now on the top of that list"

So basically, I'll TL;DR you now...we're screwed.

You can never break the politics away from the policies. They always go hand in hand.

Hydro knows what the score is. Even the low tier monkeys know how to use graphs in excel. Let's put year in the left column, and cumulative energy usage in that column and plot that out. Boom! Instant quick and dirty forecast. As the years go on, we need more power and sooner or later, we add some shit in.

We have a beautiful system. Water everywhere, no nuke, do we even have gas/coal/shit that burns to make power? I just checked...30 hydro and 3 nat gas.

Dams don't really break down per se, or become obsolete(yes, I'm dramatically oversimplifying) blah blah blah...we have it pretty good.

So it is purely people fucking with the program. And the reason they are doing so is nat gas production, this "debt free BC" that Clark and the minions seem to think they can build requires mass transmission lines to run. That means new construction. The whole Site C thing feeds direct to the new buzzword-fracking.

The actual residential subscribers to power are a side product of the real customer of hydro-business to business sales. Big bills, nice and regular requirements. Bread and butter. Anything done to keep rates low is to attract and maintain business. We have ridiculously little else to offer them. Land is fucking insane, and our location is nice if you deal with asia, but a fat pain in the ass if you go the other way.

The other nice thing about a crown corp, is its nice to raid them for money when you need it, and leave those pesky expenses behind.

*cough* balanced Liberal budget *cough*

Now...Halifax. I'm from there, and follow stuff from there in the news. Twenty-ish years ago, when I still lived there, they sold off NSP..the people could buy stock! Yay.

As of today, they've been bought, sold, traded and such and the rates spiked through the roof, in an area that can't take much of anything spiking through the roof. It comes up in every election of what are they going to do about power rates, and the answers are lies, because there is nothing you can do. It's a private company. You can hand out rebates, but that's handing out other money to offset a private companies books.

So ultimately, a crown corp that is owned for control, but left to operate like a private business can be a good thing, but that hasn't happened with BC Hydro.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:56 PM   #23
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^^ Not to mention that here in Raincouver, solar panels just plain aren't gonna work well.
now i could be wrong but i heard that germany uses a lot of solar power, and i dont think they get a whole lot of sun there either.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:19 PM   #24
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Someone's got to for those smart meters & the settlement with California. There's never a vote to ask customers if we would like to opt & still pay the old rate or welcome the rate hike @ X amount....
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #25
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now i could be wrong but i heard that germany uses a lot of solar power, and i dont think they get a whole lot of sun there either.
Actually, you are right. A lot of the big solar farms in Germany are only located in areas that get ~1200kWh/m^2 worth of solar energy per year, whereas BC seems to get just a bit more than 1300kWh/m^2. So we do get more solar energy than a lot of places in Germany.

Having said that, I don't think it is appropriate to compare residential grade solar cells to industrial grade solar cells. The difference in scale alone should be enough consider them under completely different lights. Additionally, even though Germany is the biggest producer of solar power in the world, I don't think their solar power production makes up for more than 5% of their total power output at this point, although they have some medium and long term goals to increase that figure dramatically.
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