The Site C Dam location along the Peace River in Fort St. John in April 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

BC Hydro forced to misspend billions on private energy contracts, report says

Previous government pressured it to buy too much of the wrong energy at inflated prices, report says

The province’s previous government forced BC Hydro to sign long-term contracts with independent power producers, causing it to buy too much energy for too high a price, in a move that will cost taxpayers billions, a new report says.

The report, written by former B.C. Treasury Board director Ken Davidson, says the Christy Clark government fabricated an urgent need for electricity, but would not allow the utility to produce it, and forcing it to buy the wrong type of power from private producers at much higher prices.

READ MORE: BC Hydro’s $5.5 billion in deferred debt puts pressure on rates

“Government directed BC Hydro to purchase 8,500 GWh/year of Firm energy BC Hydro did not need,” the report says, costing a “conservative” estimate of about $16 billion over 20 years, or $200 a year for the average residential customer.

Davidson makes a number of recommendations, including restoring the oversight of the BC Utilities Commission and ensuring all power is purchased and priced at market rates.

He had been tasked to independently review what influenced BC Hydro’s purchases of electricity from private power producers, and how those purchases affected hydro rates.

His report is separate from the two-phase review into controlling costs at BC Hydro – the results of which are to be released on Thursday. The NDP launched the review last June following its decision to proceed with the controversial $10-billion Site C megadam in the Peace region.

READ MORE: Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

“British Columbians are paying more on their hydro bills because of the previous government’s choices,” said Energy Minister Michelle Mungall in a release Wednesday evening.

“Professional staff within government and BC Hydro warned them against that course of action, but that government refused to listen.”

Read the full report here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

$250,000 worth of property stolen from Penticton storage

Police are investigating after a possible theft on the weekend

Bizarre alleged assault trial where Coalmont’s only payphone destroyed

Not guilty plea to assault charges related to striking man in telephone booth with vehicle

UPDATE: Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Controversial anti-abortion film to be screened in Penticton

Unplanned will be shown at the Penticton Landmark theatre

Okanagan-based pop star Andrew Allen is back with a new band

Singer-songwriter Andrew Allen is bringing his new band home for a concert this Friday

Severe thunderstorm watch issued Okanagan Valley

Strong winds, rain, and lightning may be expected for Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

Okanagan man grows tomato with an… unusual shape

The man could only conclude that it was a decidedly “male” tomato.

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

Supportive housing first step to healing: BC Housing CEO

Shayne Ramsay explains changes to Rutland’s McCurdy development

Central Okanagan motorcycle crash causes two impaired driving investigations

The driver’s injuries, although serious, are not believed to be life-threatening in nature

Most Read