MoveUP Releases Alternative BC Hydro Rate Review Report

November 9, 2011

Media Release
November 9, 2011

MoveUP Releases Alternative BC Hydro Rate Review Report

Energy, public policy experts urge government action to save BC Hydro

BURNABY – Today the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union released “From Policy to Power: Real Solutions for BC Hydro.” This alternative rate review is a response from COPE and a group of energy and public policy experts who felt the August 2011 BC Hydro Rate Review Report failed to make recommendations to address the real drivers behind Hydro rate increases. The paper is available at

“The government panel back in August failed to make any strong recommendations on IPPs or to analyze the $1 billion Smart Meter Initiative,” said MoveUP President David Black. “Instead, they made recommendations to cut 1,000 jobs at BC Hydro based on flawed points of analysis.”

From Policy to Power gives an opportunity for public policy and energy experts whose research and opinions were ignored by the first review a chance to make recommendations.

"The recent revelations by the Auditor General around deferral accounts give this even greater urgency,” Black continued, “The government and BC Hydro can’t afford to ignore what these experts have to say.”

“The government’s energy policy and legislation have prevented BC Hydro from meeting BC’s electricity requirements in a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally and socially responsible way. The government has unnecessarily imposed costs and diminished the value of BC Hydro’s hydroelectric system to the detriment of ratepayers and taxpayers alike,” said SFU Economist Dr. Marvin Shaffer, whose paper opens the new report.

In his paper, Shaffer argues a change in government policy at BC Hydro is required to remove the self-sufficiency and insurance guidelines that force BC Hydro to purchase expensive and unneeded energy from private power producers.

Second, political scientist and author John Calvert and former BC Hydro board member and public policy professor Marjorie Griffin Cohen analyze key energy policy initiatives since 2002.

“The August report was a missed opportunity to look at the real cost-drivers behind the application for a rate increase. We’re trying to address that and take a deeper look at how policy needs to change,” said Cohen.

The final contribution to From Policy to Power comes from Colin Fussell, a former regulatory manager at BC Hydro and expert witness at the BC Utilities Commission, who outlines why many of the Hydro report’s recommendations are unrealistic.

David Black concluded: “I hope that BC Hydro and the BC government will carefully review the conclusions of this alternate rate review in order to make the best decisions for the future of our public utility, and our province.”