As part of what it says is an effort to “contain rate increases, control costs,” and to position the corporation for “future success,” the BC Government announced it has launched a comprehensive, two-phase review of BC Hydro.
In a release, the province said that during the first phase, it will work with BC Hydro to identify cost savings, efficiencies, new revenue streams, and other changes.
An advisory group consisting of staff from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Finance, and BC Hydro, will perform the first phase of the review.
The goal of the review, they said, is to keep electricity rates “low and predictable over the long-term, while ensuring BC Hydro has the resources it needs to continue to provide clean, safe, and reliable electricity.”
Recommendations from the first phase of the review are expected to be in place this summer to help inform a refreshed rates plan and assist BC Hydro in preparing its next rates application, which will be filed with the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) in February 2019.
A report on the first phase of the review, and government’s response, will be released in the fall of 2018.
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In the second phase of the review – slated to start later this years – the government said it will establish an expert panel, to provide recommendations to “ensure BC Hydro is well positioned to maximize opportunities flowing from shifts taking place in the global and regional energy sectors, technological change and climate action.”
The second phase of the review will be informed by new government strategies, including an energy roadmap for the future of BC energy and a new climate action strategy, the government said.
Terms of reference for this second phase, including the makeup of the expert panel, will be finalized after the first phase of the review has been completed.
It is anticipated that the panel will deliver its recommendations to government by summer or fall of next year.