Phase 1 of the Comprehensive Review of BC Hydro

To contain rate increases, control costs, and position BC Hydro for future success, the B.C. government has launched a comprehensive, two-phased review of BC Hydro.
The first phase of the review was completed in February 2019.
Government has worked with BC Hydro to identify cost savings, efficiencies, new revenue streams and other changes to keep electricity rates low, while ensuring sound regulatory and financial oversight of BC Hydro and enabling implementation of government policy priorities.
Phase 1 was an internal review, carried out by an advisory group consisting of staff from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Finance and BC Hydro. This work was guided by the 2018 Comprehensive Review of BC Hydro  Phase 1 Terms of Reference (PDF, 282 KB).
The key outcomes of Phase 1 are:
  1. A new five-year (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2024) rates forecast that reflects cost and revenue strategies to keep rates affordable; and 
  2. A regulatory framework that enhances the BC Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) oversight of BC Hydro.

For further information on the outcomes, please read the Comprehensive Review of BC Hydro: Phase 1 Final Report (PDF, 828 KB)

Among other things, the Phase 1 Final Report has informed BC Hydro’s April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2021 Revenue Requirements application, which was filed with the BCUC at the end of February 2019.  

Indigenous Engagement on the Standing Offer Program

As a result of Phase 1, in February 2019 the Province announced the indefinite suspension of  BC Hydro’s Standing Offer Program (SOP).  The Province recognized that a significant number of Indigenous nations in British Columbia had expressed interest in developing or partnering on clean energy projects under this program, and as a result, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation launched an engagement with Indigenous nations and organizations to explore how the indefinite suspension of the SOP would affect the economic interests of individual Indigenous nations, and to explore alternate opportunities to meet those interests, where they exist. In response to the Province’s invitation to engage, 39 Indigenous Nations and three Indigenous organizations responded with a request to participate. The engagement related to the indefinite suspension of the SOP was completed in 2020.

Independent Report on BC Hydro’s Purchase of Power from Private Power Producers

Through a separate process, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources contracted with an independent consultant, Ken Davidson, to examine the factors that have influenced BC Hydro’s purchases of electricity from private power producers. The report also looks at the impact these purchases have had on BC Hydro costs and rates.