Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse in Ruskin, B.C., on Oct. 17, 2013. The site is currently being upgraded to improve seismic performance and upgrade the powerhouse.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

B.C.'s Energy Minister says he will release a specific BC Hydro rate hike within a month, but it won't be as high as 26 per cent. Instead, Bill Bennett will settle on a figure that will cover hydro infrastructure costs.

Mr. Bennett, following a speech to a clean-energy conference on Monday, also promised a schedule of rate hikes over several years.

"Instead of doing a one- or two-year rate increase, I am going to do my best to come up with a longer period of time that will give ratepayers a little more certainty over what is going to happen with rates," he told reporters.

Story continues below advertisement

He declined to be specific about how long the rate forecast would be.

The minister also would not provide a specific figure under review, but said it will be "considerably less" than the proposed 26 per cent increase over two years disclosed earlier this fall in a leaked BC Hydro report.

"We have managed to find ways to take a fair bit of pressure off rates," he said, referring to a review under way within his ministry.

Mr. Bennett said he is juggling a mandate from Premier Christy Clark that includes taking pressure off rates, enabling BC Hydro to continue investing in infrastructure, and finding some way to facilitate growth in clean energy.

"Those are three competing tensions, and it's my job to do my best to manage them and rates will be part of that," he said.

The proposed 26 per cent was quickly dismissed as an option by Ms. Clark, who has made controlling costs on families a political mantra, and Mr. Bennett.

Since then, the minister has been trying to figure out how to proceed.

Story continues below advertisement

During his speech to the conference, Mr. Bennett suggested rates did not increase as much as necessary in the 1990s. In 2012, the Liberals ordered proposed BC Hydro rate increases to be cut from a recommended 32 per cent to 17 per cent over three years.

B.C. NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, speaking for the Opposition on rates, said the Liberals need to reverse policy and allow the B.C. Utilities Commission to work out a fair figure. Mr. Bennett has rejected that possibility.

"Let's have an independent body grill a monopoly – BC Hydro – to get the best rates for customers rather than to have the Liberals saying, 'We're going to stick you with 20 per cent rather than 26 or 15 rather than 20,' " Mr. Chandra Herbert told reporters.

Follow me on Twitter: @ianabailey

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies