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March 6, 2012

BC Hydro's rates are among the lowest in North America

Rates comparison chart

BC Hydro rates update, including a look at recent BCUC decision

Each year, BC Hydro is part of a survey that compares BC Hydro's rates with those in 21 other jurisdictions in North America. The results are included in the Electricity Rate Comparison Annual Report, which compares BC Hydro's monthly bills and average prices for residential, commercial and industrial customers against other utilities.

If you're a residential customer consuming about 1,000 kWh/month, your monthly bill is about $82 — or 8 cents per kWh — which is fourth lowest among the utilities surveyed.

Hydro-Quebec tops the list at $68 for 1,000 kWh/month, while 15 of the 25 jurisdictions on the list are at $100 or more. Two — Consolidated Edison in New York, and Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco — are over $200.

BC Hydro's rates for all customer segments continue to remain within the top 25 per cent of utilities for 2011/12. For the most part, the five jurisdictions that consistently rank the most favourably in the report are BC Hydro, Hydro-Quebec, Manitoba Power, Pacific Power and Light (Portland, Oregon) and Seattle City Light.

View the comparison chart above or see the full, detailed Rates Comparison Report [PDF, 485 Kb].

Wait, aren't rates going up?

There's been a lot of coverage recently about BC Hydro's rates, and it can be a challenge to figure out what it means for you.

The BC Utilities Commission issued a decision on February 15 regarding BC Hydro's rate application, which confirms an interim average rate increase of 3.91 per cent. The BC Utilities Commission also ordered an increase to the rate rider of 2.5 per cent. Both changes are effective April 1, 2012.

For the average residential customer, BCUC's decision translates into an overall increase of about $5 per month.

Cut your energy waste

We recognize that even a modest rate increase has an impact on your bill, which is why we are doing everything we can to reduce our costs and find efficiencies across the company.

You can help, too. If you want to conserve and manage your energy use, we have a variety of online resources and customer success stories to help you out.

Here are a few:

What's a rate rider?

The rate rider is included on every customer's bill. The funds collected are used to reduce BC Hydro's energy deferral accounts.

BC Hydro uses deferral accounts to prevent sudden rate fluctuations that could result, for example, from higher-than-forecast market prices for energy or unexpectedly low water levels in reservoirs.


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