Report says BC Hydro rates third-lowest in North America

Residential electricity rates in BC are the third-lowest in North America, according to an independent report from Hydro-Quebec.

Residential electricity rates in British Columbia are the third-lowest in North America, according to an independent report from Hydro-Quebec.

Based on 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, Montreal and Winnipeg were the cheapest and runner up, respectively, with Vancouver occupying the third spot. The report also states that residential electricity bills average roughly $40 lower than other cities surveyed.

However, despite the report, B.C. electricity rates are going up 28 per cent over the next five years, the first increase of which occurred earlier at the beginning of April. Those rate increases, which were announced in November 2013 by BC Hydro and Energy Minister Bill Bennett, will go towards substantial reinvestments in aging facilities and infrastructure.

“The Province of B.C. and BC Hydro have introduced a 10-year plan to keep rates as low as possible while BC Hydro makes investments in aging assets and new infrastructure that support B.C.’s growing population and economy,” read a statement in a BC Hydro press release.

BC Hydro estimates that $2 billion a year will be spent over the next 10 years to refurbish, expand, upgrade and add to the system of dams and wires for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for B.C.’s residential and commercial needs.

BC Hydro, a provincial crown corporation, serves 1.9 million customers across B.C.