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Media release - for immediate release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
August 19, 2011

IPPs not to blame for
BC Hydro rate increases

It’s really unfortunate that groups like COPE 378
feel the need to play the blame game and run down
the private sector for purely ideological reasons.

David Field, co-spokesperson, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy —


Vancouver, B.C. — B.C. Citizens for Green Energy co-spokesperson, David Field, wants the public to know there is no truth to the claim that BC Hydro rates are increasing because of independent green energy producers.

His warning comes in the wake of a high level review of BC Hydro’s request to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a rate increase, an increase which would have seen hydro rates rise by 32 percent over the next three years.

Field says BC Hydro’s application documents show very clearly that only 2.6 percent of the total 32 percent rate increase is attributable to purchases of new green energy supplies from independent producers. 

The rest of the proposed increase (29.4 percent) relates directly to BC Hydro’s multibillion dollar program to renew and expand the province’s publicly-owned, but rapidly aging, electricity generating and transmission infrastructure.

“The COPE 378 union, representing BC Hydro workers, and various other anti-IPP groups are trying to pin BC Hydro’s rate increases on independent green energy producers and it’s simply not true and not supported by the facts,” said Field.

“Only 2.6 percent of BC Hydro’s requested rate increase relates to energy purchased from independent producers; the rest was needed to pay for several billion dollars worth of upgrades to the BC Hydro’s own dams and transmission systems.”

To put the 2.6 percent into context, and based on the interim 8 percent rate increase approved by the BCUC this past spring, Field says no more than 40 to 48 cents per month is attributable to green energy purchases.

The rest, he says, approximately $4.60 to $5.52 per month, is directly related to the renewing, upgrading and rebuilding of BC Hydro’s publicly owned infrastructure and it is the major driver of BC Hydro’s proposed rate increase.

Field is quick to note that B.C. Citizens for Green Energy (BCCGE) fully supports BC Hydro’s multibillion dollar reinvestment plans because the province’s core hydroelectric assets are central to B.C.’s economy and are long overdue for being upgraded and modernized, now and for the sake of future generations.  

Most were built in the 1960s and 1970s, Field says, or even earlier.

“The bottom line is that we’re going to need the clean energy that independent producers can provide as well as the energy that our publicly-owned mega dams can produce, and we need to invest in both,” said Field.

“It’s really unfortunate that groups like COPE 378 feel the need to play the blame game and run down the private sector for purely ideological reasons.”

For more information about green energy in B.C. please visit the BCCGE website at www.greenenergybc.ca and join the green energy discussion on the BCCGE Livewire Blog.




For more information contact David Field
Co-spokesperson, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
e-mail us at info@greenenergybc.ca

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy is an advocacy group representing a cross-section of British Columbians who encourage a legacy of clean, renewable electricity for future generations.