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The Wrong Long-Term Plan for BC Hydro: What Government Should Have Done


For the past three years, BC Hydro has been working to develop an updated plan to estimate the loads it will need to serve in the next twenty years and to determine what resources (including conservation and efficiency) should be acquired. In September 2013, BC Hydro workshopped this plan – the 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) – with interested parties, prior to submitting it to the government for final approval.

BCSEA participated in the September workshop and subsequently called on the B.C. government to reject the IRP and to send the plan to the Utilities Commission for an independent public inquiry.

On November 26, Minister Bennett announced the government’s approval of BC Hydro’s IRP.  BCSEA thinks that was the wrong decision. This is why:


BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan: Big Hydro and Less Energy Conservation

Early this past August, BC Hydro submitted its Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) to the government for approval. The main themes are: a commitment to build the Site C dam; a retreat from energy conservation; the continuing uncertainties about liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects and how much electricity they would require; cuts to renewable energy resources; and an increased reliance on gas-fired generation. The public and interested parties now have a modest – and inadequate – opportunity to provide comments. More....

Catch an Incentive #3

The government has announced a new, ‘shrunk-but-still-there’ LiveSmart BC home energy efficiency incentives program, valid until March 31st 2014. 
If you’d like to save some energy and money and greenhouse gases, go immediately to the LiveSmart website, to see what’s available. 

Back to the PST - what about renewables ?

Following up on the results of the 2011 referendum, BC is returning to a new/old Provincial Sales Tax on April 2, 2013. Most economists think a Harmonized Sales Tax (or Value Added Tax) is better policy, but the people have spoken, so the combined 12% HST will split into a 5% GST on almost everything, and a 7% PST on some things.

The Finance Department has tried to simplify the legislation while maintaining the spirit of the old system with its many exemptions and special rules.

How does this affect energy ? In general, the following will be exempt: 

Catch an Incentive #2

There’s still a danger that the government may scrap the current LiveSmart BC program, which ends on March 31st 2013. We’re hoping not, and many of you have already written to urge them not to.

So, what's all the fuss about 'smart' meters?

Do you wonder why 'smart' electricity meters are called 'smart'? Do you wonder what is going on with smart meters in BC?

Smart (or advanced) meters are the latest in exciting high-tech electronics. In the last three or four years, utilities across North America have suddenly started installing millions of them.

Catch an Incentive

 Are you making the most of the incentives that are available to help you build a more sustainable world? Starting right now, we’re introducing a monthly feature that will remind you of what’s out there, in case you want to put your hand out. Thanks to members from our Kamloops Chapter for suggesting this feature.


Your Feedback Wanted on BC Building Code Changes

 What are your ideas on revisions to energy requirements in the BC Building Code ?

The BC Government is looking for feedback on planned revisions to part 10 of the BC Building Code by December 15, 2012.

The changes would affect:

LiveSmart BC’s Energy Incentive Program

LiveSmart BC’s Energy Incentive Program is one of the BC Liberal government’s best programs, and yet it is in danger, with no assured funding beyond March 31st 2013.

We – the BCSEA - consider this to be a shame, since it provides funding for the home energy efficiency upgrades that are such an important part of our journey to a low-carbon economy in BC.

Budget 2013: Support the Carbon Tax!

As BCSEA's Director of Policy, I'm asking you to let government know your ideas on how the 2013 budget can support sustainable energy:
The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services is now accepting public input on the upcoming provincial budget for 2013.
BCSEA encourages you to give your thoughts by fax, internet submission or email: http://www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations/submissions.asp. Just go to the website and follow the instructions.