Blog

How BC Hydro Produces Record profits Despite Flat Demand. March 2, 2017.

This paper explores BC Hydro's flat domestic sales and its high profits during the last five years, and suggests that the recording of future ubapproved and unbilled revenue helps explain the healthy bottom line.

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ICBC Deficits-Question Period February 22, 2017. February 26, 2017.

Minister Stone attempts to defend ICBC's deficit forecasts during Question Period on February 22, 2017.

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ICBC's Forecasts for 2016/17 and 2017/18 Show Worsening Outlook. February 22, 2017.

ICBC's 3rd Quarter 2016/17 forecast, and the 2017/18 forecast show a worsening financial picture. No relief in the government's 2017/18 budget.

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Government Uses BC Hydro and ICBC to Lower Direct Debt. February 19, 2017.

In the last five years, the government has taken some $1.95 billion in dividends from BC Hydro, or "excess' capital from ICBC, to reduce its direct operating debt requirement. Occasional Paper No. 22 explains how this happened.

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Government Creates Unique Accounting System for BC Hydro. January 30, 2017.

This paper describes how an obscure 2011 cabinet directive allows BC Hydro to apply regulatory accounting without the fundamental componet -- an independent regulator.

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Submission to the BC Utilities Commission re ICBC Review. January 24, 2017.

My submission recommends that the BC Utilities Commission set expectations for ICBC's 2017 rate request, and includes data on forecasted rate requirements and comparisons of Basic rate increases with Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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BC Hydro's Growing Pension Liability. January 14, 2017.

Richard McCandless wonders why BC Hydro has a large and growing pension liability; deferral accounting may provide a reason.

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Under-Reported BC Hydro Financial Stories from 2016. January 9, 2017.

Richard McCandless posts Occasional Paper No. 19 on some 2016 stories about BC Hydro's finances that were either under-reported, or recieved no media coverage.

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BC Hydro Quietly Posts Disappointing Q2 Results

My summary of BC Hydro's 2016 Q2 rseults, and a forecast to year-end.

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ICBC 2016 Basic Rate Request-Final Argument. December 20, 2016.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds...."; Richard McCandless submits comments and recommendations to the BC Utilities Commission respecting ICBC's 4.9% Basic rate increase for 2016.

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Understanding Regulation in the United Kingdom 2016. December 18, 2016.

Martin Stanley's compendium of issues relating to regulation of public utilities in the UK; http://www.regulation.org.uk/

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ICBC Basic Claims Costs 2012 to 2015. 12 December 2016.

This Occasional Paper (No. 18) reviews ICBC claims data from 2012 to 2015 to attempt to identify cost drivers. The outlook for the medium term is as discussed.

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BC Hydro Defends Recording of Future Unapproved Revenue. 2 December 2016.

Recently, the BC Utilities Commission asked BC Hydro whether its recording of future unapproved revenue conformed to accepted accounting principles. I forwarded BC Hydro's answer, together with my comments, to Auditor General Carol Bellringer.

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Premier Clark Wants 4.9% Rate Increase for 2016. 22 November 2016.

News 1130 story says Premier Clark fighting for affordable auto insurance rates.

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BC Hydro GWh Domestic Sales. 29 November 2016.

BC Hydro data on domestic sales 2006/07 to 2015/16 and three year forecast.

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Thoughts on Recent ICBC Events. 27 November 2016.

My thoughts and comments on recent events concerning ICBC's rates and financial condition.

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ICBC's Five Year Basic Forecast of 23 November 2016. 24 November 2016.

My preliminary impressions of ICBC's Basic forecast filed on 23 November 2016.

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Rate Suppression and Capital Destruction: ICBC Rate Shock Lurking. 17 November 2016.

This paper describes how the government's rate suppression policy has used ICBC's capital reserves to subsidize lower than required Basic program rates. In essence, the government is using policyholders' savings to keep the required rate increases from becoming an issue of public concern. Soon the capital reserve will be at minimum levels, and policyholders will be faced with the deferred bill.

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Revenue Recognition -- Fraud and Reporting Risk.

An article by D. Barry Jay Epstein reviewing revenue recognition fraud in the US.

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Does BC Hydro's Rate Smoothing Conform to Accounting Standards? 8 June 2016.

On 8 June 2016 Adrian Dix MLA requested Auditor General Carol Bellringer's opinion as to whether the government-imposed recording of future revenue at BC Hyro conforms to generally accepted accounting principles. 

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How Ontario and BC Subsidize Electricity Rates. 13 September 2016.

A comparison of how the governments of Ontario and BC subsidize electricity rates.

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Is The BC Utilities Commission Independent? (Revised) September 2, 2018.

A summary of how the BC government has stripped the BC Utilities Commission of its authority to set rates for BC Hydro and compulsory auto insurance.

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Responsible Vehicle Owners Press-Ganged to Keep Good Ship British Columbia Fiscally Afloat. 3 June 2014

How the government relies on ICBC's Optional insurance to generate excess profits. 3 June 2014.

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Accounting Rules Over-state Government Revenue on Actual Cash Basis 21 September 2016

Canadian public sector accounting rules treat the net income of self-supporting Crown corporations provincial revenue, even though the actual cash transferred can be significantly less, or zero. 21 September 2016

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The Cost of Surplus IPP Power 6 October 2016

An attempt to estimate the net cost to BC Hydro by purchasing power from independant power producers. 6 October 2016.

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The Implications of ICBCs 2016 Rate Changes on Its Capital Reserves 31 August 2016

Possible negative implications of ICBCs 2016 rate changes on its Basic and Optional capital reserves. 31 August 2016.

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Is BC Hydro Acting More Like a Commercial Power Utility? 15 August 2016

Comparing BC Hydro's finances with other power utilities. 15 August 2016.

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Government Financial Benefit from ICBC 30 March 2016

A short survey of the financial benefits the goverment receives from ICBC. 30 March 2016.

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How Much Do Electricity Consumers Owe BC Hydro? 29 July 2016

Deferral accounting assumes that cost over-runs are loans to customers; how much do we owe BC Hydro? 29 July 2016. 

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Basic Insurance Part 7 Benefits 2 April 2016

Part 7 Benefits of ICBCs Basic insurance coverage include medical rehabilitation, wage loss, home care and death benefits; the maximum levels have not been increased since 1991. 2 April 2016.

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Impact on ICBC Bodily Injury Claims Costs of Proposed Civil Rules Tariff Changes 2 April 2016

This paper discusses how the 2016 proposed changes to the civil court rules tariff may increase Basic insurance costs. 2 April 2016.

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Caps on Pain and Suffering Awards 26 July 2016

The following provides a source of selected sources for further research on the issue of caps on non-pecuniary (pain and suffering) damage awards for vehicle insurance claims. 26 July 2016.

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The Greying of ICBCs Policyholders 22 August 2016

What are the implications of the aging demographic of ICBC policyholders on the future price of auto insurance? 22 August 2016.

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The Recent Growth in ICBC Claims Costs 30 July 2016

The causes and effects of the recent increase in ICBC's claim costs are reviewed. 30 July 2016.

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ICBC's Declining Capital Reserve Levels 30 July 2016

ICBCs First Quarter 2016 financial results confirm that rising claims costs and declining investment income are rapidly reducing its capital reserves, which are required to pay outstanding claims. 30 July 2016.

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ICBC Facing Severe Financial Pressure 30 July 2016

ICBC's poor 2015 financial results should be of concern to the government and to policyholders. 30 July 2016.

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Excerpts from Rate Suppression and Debt Tranformation 10 November 2016

These are excerpts from 'Rate Suppression and Debt Transformation: The Political Use of BC Hydro, 2008 to 2014,' published by BC Studies, November 2016.

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