And on Sunday, April 1, that rate increase officially came into effect.
The BC Utilities commission had requested a one-year-rate freeze, but that was turned down and a 3% increase proposed by the previous BC Liberals government when they were still in power has been approved.
The rate freeze was meant to give the government time to undertake a comprehensive review of BC Hydro.
Back in March, BC’s Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources Michelle Mungall said she was “disappointed the BCUC turned down BC Hydro’s request for a one-year rate freeze, and instead, approved the previous government’s rate increase.”
In light of the decision, the province said it plans to work with BC Hydro and customer groups on a lifeline rate program.
“The program could mean that people who have demonstrated need would have access to a lower rate for their electricity,” Mungall explained.
In addition, starting this May, “residential customers who find themselves in an emergency – such as loss of employment, unanticipated medical expenses or pending eviction for example – will be eligible for a grant toward their outstanding BC Hydro bill.”
This grant is up to $600 and “does not need to be repaid.”
Despite the 3% increase decision, Mungall said the government still plans to “undertake a comprehensive review of BC Hydro to make it work for people.”
BC Hydro wasn’t the only rate increase on Sunday, however.