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October 27, 2017 11:33 pm

PG School Board Reacts to Hydro Hike

Friday, April 1, 2016 @ 4:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – It may be April Fools Day, but this is no joke.20150303_181750-1

The public utility is hiking BC Hydro rates 4% effective today. One organization expecting to feel the pinch as a result is the Prince George School District.

School Board vice-chair Tim Bennett says when combined with MSP and other utility increases – not to mention the $727,000 in administrative savings they were forced to find this year, it’s yet another downloaded cost that needs to be dealt with.

“We need to continue to define ways to let government know when these increases come down, that’s money coming out of the classroom and with less supports for our students.”

Is this sustainable considering BC Hydro alone is planning to raise rates again by 3.5% next year and a further 3% the year after?

“Well I think when we’re looking at our structural deficit as a district and we’re looking at how we are going to ensure the sustainability, this is yet another blow to the budget,” says Bennett.

“Last year we had to invest close to $1million of our surplus to meet the structural deficit. We’re now entering budget consultations and looking at what that’s going to mean for next year’s school budget.”

The increase is part of a 10-year rates plan announced in 2013.

BC Hydro says the hikes are needed to pay for investments in their aging infrastructure system.


Christy needs the coin to pretend she runs a balanced budget so pay up.

    Sure, it has absolutely nothing to do with the costs to manufacture and distribute electricity.

      Think it has more to do with her always dipping into the hydro funds to cover stupid spending and budget bullsh$t. She put all our eggs in the LNG basket..which no longer exists ….

    Christy don’t need your coin. She wants you to expect less, so she does not have to do these things.

We should ALL be reacting to this rate hike! The excuse
I heard about the need for the rate hike was to upgrade hydro infrastructure… So what they are saying is that poles, transformers etc are all old and now need replacing. I say “take it out of your bloated administration salaries. Mismanagement is why their infrastructure is all needing fixed right now. Not my problem.
We are all getting hosed! Hydro, ICBC, gas, food and taxes… all going up, and up, and up.

    It is called maintenance, you have to do it once in a while, from a couple days ago:

    BC Hydro to Replace Hundreds of Power Poles in P.G.
    By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
    Wednesday, March 30, 2016 @ 3:52 AM

    Pole replacementPrince George, B.C.- BC Hydro crews will be busy in Prince George this year, as they replace aging hydro poles.

    (image at right courtesy BCHydro)

    As part of the ongoing maintenance program, 230 hydro poles will be replaced in P.G.

    In total, BC Hydro will be replacing 12 thousand hydro poles across the Province over the coming months.

    Hydro poles normally last between 40 and 50 years, and can become weak over time because of adverse weather conditions, insects and wildlife.

      When a house hold forsees a maintenance issue creeping up most of us budget for this expense. We don’t come with our handout asking the taxpayer for more…more…more!!

      April fools right ice? or are you actually serious?

      Hydro is a commodity and not a tax. If your natural gas rates go up do you blame government taxes? If your bagel with cheese goes up do you blame government taxes? If hydro was private like Fortis you wouldn’t be able to scream taxpayer

      Infrastructure lasts a while, in this case 40 to 50 years. So put another way – 40 to 50 years ago you didn’t have to budget for aging infrastructure, now you do. Probably like the city they want a slush fund as well for emergencies. And yes the city utility slush fund is paid for by a tax, a property tax increase

BC Hydro like any other company does its maintenance on a yearly basis (or should) in any event they have money for maintenance already included in their rates.

Are we to believe that they woke up one morning and said Gee, we need to do some maintenance so we will have to raise rates to cover the costs.

More likely this money will go into general revenue, and who knows, may be spent on wages, and benefits, or expenses for high flying Hydro officials.

The PG School Board, along with the rest of us has a legitimate argument when it comes to Hydro increases.

Perhaps Site C is part of the reason for the increases.

In any event don’t expect any help from the Provincial Government as they are part of the problem, not the solution.

    Actually government is the problem, who do you think runs Hydro?

      Like electricity would be any cheaper if a privately owned monopoly ran things. The only difference is the wages and benefits of the top percentile of management would be even bigger than they are now. And we would have thousands of shareholders clamoring for more and more, instead of just the one we have now.

      Electricity is publicly owned and that is the way it should stay. Even your hero W.A.C Bennet had no interest in allowing the private sector to own power production in BC.


Please remember even with the increase, we still enjoy some of the cheapest power out there.

Perhaps we need to see how we are using our power. maybe in our own homes, we need to invest in using LED’s. Maybe we need to go on the internet and see what appliances are the biggest consumer of power. I think you would be very surprised.

Stop complaining about it, throw a mirror infront of you, and see how your family uses electrical power. The kids of today, will embrace your change.

    My hydro use is about 60% of BC Hydro’s category of “similar homes nearby”. When that drops to 70, 80, 90% and I am not doing anymore to reduce my hydro costs, then I will see that a significant number of others have tried a bit harder. :-)

    Do you really think the increases are going to stop if we save power? Hydro is awash in excess power and they still raised the rates. I heat with electricity. How am I supposed to save power? Shut off my heating?

    The rates are going up so Kristy can have her re-election slush fund and BC Hydra will have some way of paying for their Site C boondoggle.

      What about the 65 billion boondoogle to IPP’s?

      I heat with electricity. How am I supposed to save power? Shut off my heating?

      Hmmmm … how about heating with gas?

      Get a wood stove… ?


      The conversion cost of switching from electric heat to gas is prohibitive in a house with a finished basement. There is no way that I would ever save enough in heating costs to recover the costs of installing a gas line, meter, furnace and ducting plus the removal costs of taking out baseboard heaters and associated wiring.


      The air quality in this city is bad enough as it is without me adding to it with a wood stove. Again, the cost of installing a wood stove would never be recovered in my remaining lifetime by any cost savings from reduced electricity use.

This government and all previous governments have treated Hydro as a source of in come. Infrastructure is old and with governments always looking ahead to get elected there is no long range planning well now its time to pay the piper.

Also there is the 65 billion in expensive contracts Hydro is forced to buy from the IPP’s. This power costs a lot more than what Hydro can generate its own power for. This was a sweet deal to the friends of fiberals.

Other provinces and countries are seeing very steep rises in electricity costs because of the costly false green BS. The government looks at this, raises rates, Hydro being a puppet of the government, and will still say we have the cheapest rates.

I am not quite sure what the message is thatSD57 is trying to send us.

Are they saying that the government is expecting SD57 to make do with the utility portion of their previous budget in spite of the government raising the cost of hydro? If so, is the government telling them that their hydro use is too high and that they should be investing further into reduced use of hydro?

We really do not know, do we?

All I know is that whatever it is, it will cost to invest in improvements and the unit cost of hydro use will, in the end, not cost SD57 a thing since it too is a public “utility” and no matter which way one slices it, the taxpayers will be paying for it.

I say to SD57, make the best of it that you can so that costs, over the long term, are kept as low as possible.

Remember, from Christy Clark done to the people who take care of our schools, they are all public employees who all get paid with the dollars they extract from us for their service to us.

I know I expect the best from ALL the people in that position in this city, province and country.

In order for us to measure how well they are doing, all we can really expect is adequate information to allow us to do a fair assessment of their work, forgetting about partisanship whether it is the right versus left or whether it is SD versus Victoria.

I do not see adequate information on this issue.

    That should be from “from Christy Clark DOWN to the people”

China’s electricity utility is buying up electric utilities in various countries and investing in new technology.

Maybe Christy could look at that and we won’t have her or any future BC government to blame anymore for hydro costs and removing earnings from that to general revenues.


“While State Grid is hardly a household name, its geographic footprint extends from South America to Australia, where it’s a contender to acquire a stake in Sydney-based power network Ausgrid. Hungry to grow outside China, the company plans to develop a $50 trillion global energy network that could enable electricity to be transmitted beyond continental boundaries.”

We switched from electric baseboard heat in our 2000 sq ft house to gas last summer, and saved 67% from last year… It’s awful if you have electric heat. Highly recommend switching since it’s only going to go higher.

In any School I ever worked in , it was way to warm (hot) and I worked in many , so my take “Turn the Thermostat down ” and save and you may not fall asleep!

    I agree with your statement about the temperature.

    The heat, however, is supplied by natural gas, not electricity.

    The ventilation system in schools is operated by electricity. The air exchanges are to an ASHRAE standard, so should not be adjusted to work on less than about 4 air exchanges per hour.

    Operations staff of such buildings are known to have blocked air intakes to reduce the amount of outside air coming in to save heating energy. That could be another reasons for falling asleep, not enough oxygen.

Gopg2015 being april 1st you are kidding I hope. Australia’s pays a lot more for their electricity than BC. You think BC rates are high even with the phony increases I suggest you check around.

BC, Manitoba, Quebec have about the cheapest rates in the world because of predominantly hydro electric power and government controlled. Name me one private utility in the modern world where rates are lower than ours?

so your thinking is Chinese takeover good, American(western bad) take overs, oh wow.

Take a look at the IPP’s, private and expensive, is that what you are advocating, just amazing.

IPP’s 65 billion, 65 billion you happy with that. That is the main reason our rates are increasing. 65 billion!

What ever happened to the solar panels after the school got torn down? With the incentives and PAC (parent advisory council) funding that made it a zero investment for the school board why have they not set it up again to save $$$? It kind of vanished from the news

Doesn’t the school board get some carbon tax back???? I recall that they got a big refund not that long ago..

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