BC Hydro rate increase on hold
Commission withholds approval as Clark government reviews BC Hydro spending
A BC Hydro rate hike set to take effect on April 1 has been suspended, The Globe and Mail reports.
The report says the B.C. Utilities Commission ruled on Monday that the interim rate increase of nearly 10 per cent would not go ahead as planned on Friday.
The regulator had approved the new rates for Hydro's customers two weeks ago, but a promised review by the province has cast doubt on the corporation's long-term spending plans.
B.C. Energy Minister Rich Coleman said Thursday that the increases would not be as high as the 10 per cent per year for five years that Hydro had announced March 1.
BC Hydro had planned a $6-billion program of upgrades and new construction to meet growing electricity demand, and said it need the rate increases at the consumer level to help finance the work.
The commission will reconsider the utility's request April 8 while the government and BC Hydro sort out spending priorities.