BC Hydro's Positive Third Quarter Results
BC Hydro reported a strong nine months primarily due to the effect of interest rate increases nd a jump in Trade income.
BC Hydro reported a strong nine months primarily due to the effect of interest rate increases nd a jump in Trade income.
Hydro Quebec reported record sales and profits in calendar year 2022, mainly driven by high export prices and a cold winter.
By ordering the Utilities Commission to approve BC Hydro’s new rebate regulatory account the government continues to substitute political imperatives for the economic-based rate setting oversight provided by the once independent regulator.
Premier Eby announced a credit/rebate but no total cost or funding plan was make public. This paper provides an estimate, and discusses two funding approaches.
The report highlights the weaknesses in planning, project management and accountability. There are many parrallels to the Site C project.
BC Hydro no longer reports its Domestic electricity surplus or deficit, but it is possble to determine the annual totals from the service data in its annual reports. The over capacity in generation has costs for ratepayers.
BC Hydro has extended the IPP contract for 4.5 years to maintain grid reliability.
A new directive reinforces the government's unwillingness to fulfill its 2018 promise to enhance the independence of the BC Utilities Commission regardsin BC Hydro's finances and rates.
A new cabinet order negates the previous commitment to restore full independence to the BC Utilities Commission to regulate BC Hydro. Will the auditor general again qualify the government's financial statements?
In a recent decision the BC Utilities Commission gave notice that it will regulate BC Hydro rates using an incentive sytem. This despite the warnings of BC Hydro and most of the consumer groups that such a system would not be effective for the Crown utility, and would reduce public accountability.
In light of anticipated higher interest rates BC Hydro has re-instituted its hedging program. Better luck this time?
After six months BC Hydro's finances show improvements from the prior year, partly due to improved economic activity.
The government's plan to restrict old growth logging could have a significant effect on BC Hydro's sales and rates.
New reports by Ontario's Financial Accountability Office provide a useful overview of the effect of the taxpayer subsidies on the price of electricity in that province. Update with Globe and Mail editorial https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-the-hydro-subsidy-washing-machine-keeps-spinning-in-ontario/
Should the BC Utilities Commission be broadened to address social policy issues? This paper says this would be highly problematic.
In a recent filing with the regulator, BC Hydro is slowly disclosing details on the cost of the Site C dam project. The impact on customer rates has yet to be disclosed.
The government of Manitoba has decided to increase Manitoba Hydro rates by 2.5% per year for the next three years. This has resulted in less transparency and accountibility.
A recent cabinet order has blocked any attempt by the BC Utilities Commission to lower BC Hydro's excessive profits. This is another example of the government's manipulation of the utility and the BC Utilities Commission.
Recently, the Ontario government expanded its program of subsidizing the price of electricity for residential and smaller commercial customers to include larger commercial and industrial users. Given the likely operating losses of Site C, will the BC government also subsidize BC Hydro's rates when this project is operational?
Part way into the BC Utilities Commission's review of its 2022 rate request BC Hydro has asked that any decrease to its net income be delayed. This paper reviews the situation.
The Manitoba government has sidelined the province's regulator of Manitoba Hydro, and legislated a 2.9% rate increase for the coming year. This action mirrors that of Quebec, which also "simplified" rate setting by eliminating the regulator for five years. Is there a trend?
A recent report suggests that BC Hydro is winding down its costly interest rate hedging program. This paper updates earlier commentaries.
This Commentary reviews the highlights of the first six months of BC Hydro's 2020/21 fiscal year, including the effect of COVID-19 and lower interest rates.
This paper argues that the net losses for Site C (whether it proceeds or is cancelled) should be covered by the taxpayer rether than expecting the ratepayers to pay the cost by increasing the cost of domestic power sold.
BC Hydro's first quarter report to June 30th shows that the losses on the hedging gamble have now reached an astonishing $1.0 billion. This paper reviews the hedging program, and how the losses will prevent ratepayers from benefiting from lower borrowing costs. See also
The prospect of continuing low interest rates will place further strain on the financial statements of ICBC and BC Hydro. The poor financial health could twart government attempts to lower insurace rates or provide cheaper electricity.
BC Hydro released a report that claims its strong financial position despite a dramatic drop in sales. This is not true; its has high debt and relies on deferral costs and recording unearned revenue to produce a high profit.
BC Hydro's net income is protected against any reduction in revenue by the public utility's recording of unearned revenue in a deferral account. The resulting increse in debt is a liability for future generations.
This paper argues that the governent should reduce BC Hydro's profit (net income) target by 50 percent to provide $350 million in direct relief to BC residents and businesses.
The attached paper discusses the Saskatchewan government's and SaskPower's moves to reduce the dependence on coal to generate electricity. Certain financial comparisons of SaskPower and BC Hydro are also discussed.
On 29 November 2019, BC Hydro released disappointing results for April to September 2019. Transfers to regulatory accounts converted an initial operating loss of $611 million to a $25 million profit. Losses from hedging future interest rates remain a concern.
B.C. Hydro's interest rate hedging program incurred dramatic losses from April 2018 to June 2020. The shareholder was protected by a regulatory account. How did the hedging program begin and why is it failing the ratepayers?
The new Quebec government has significantly dminished the role of the independent body that regulated the operation and the rates of Hydro Quebec. The change is reviewed in the attached paper.
This Commentary reviews the government's assumption that B.C. Hydro ratepayers will subsidize the cost of electrifying the production of oil and gas in the noeth east reagion. It is a sudsidy because the cost is greater than the anticipated revenue. The social benefit of reduced carbon emissions should be paid by the government, not the ratepayers.
In the August edition of The Broker magazine Chuck Byrne, the exectutive director of the Insurance Brokers Association, wrote an editorial in support of the public model for the provision of compulsory insurance. Exerpts of this editorial are attached.
This paper provides highlights of B.C. Hydro's 2018/19 annual report. The finances are now based on public sector GAAP and reflect the one-time loss caused by the windup of the revenue deferral account.
Auditor General Carol Bellringer has accepted the government's pledge to fully restore the B.C. Utilities Commission's authority to regulate B.C. Hydro and removed that part of her qualification on the government's 2018/19 financial statements.
Despite the clear opinion of the province's auditor general to the contrary B.C. Hydro asserts that the B.C. Utilities Commission is independent. This paper looks at the issue.
Both Manitoba and B.C. public power utilities are facing major cost increases as large capital projects near completion. The Manitoba regulator is raising prices to smooth the transition, but the B.C. government has chosen to keep the rate increase below the increase in B.C. Hydro's costs. The NDP approach has many parallels to that of the previous government.
B.C. Hydro has generated or contracted for power in excess of domestic sales for a number of years, and forecasts surpluses for a number of years to come. This Commentary reviews the acquisition and sales.
This Commentary reviews the recent report by the special committee of the Ontario legislature on financial transparency. The committee was struck to examine how the previous Liberal government ignored public sector accounting standards to lower electricity rates while still claiming to balance the 2017/18 budget.
This commentary reviews the new five-year rates plan for B.C. Hydro, as well as the government's plan to restore the B.C. Utilities Commission's authority to regulate the public utility.
This paper reviews the testimoney of former Ontario Premier Wynne at the legislative committee on transparency, and compares the practice in Ontario to that practiced in B.C.
My comments on the results and the lack of discussion on accounting changes or future rate increases.
Commentary on certain aspects of the Ontario government's plans regarding electricity pricing and auto insurance regulation.
A committee of the Ontario legislature is holding hearings into how the previous Liberal government attempted to ignore the accounting rules to make the government books appear than was the case. What lessons might the B.C. government learn from this review?
The Ontario government has moved to clean-up certain accounting practices, including the financing of the "Fair Hydro" deferrals. The accounting adjustment of the electricity deferrals increased 2018/19 expenditures by $2,4 billion.
This commentary paper explores in more detail some of the issues involved in fixing the accounting policies at B.C. Hydro.
This paper provides an overview of why the government set aside $950 million for the 2017/18 fiscal year to begin to fix the financial troubles at B.C. Hydro. the restoration of proper accounting standards at the public power utility presents certain financial problems for the government.
A short commentary on the regulator's 18 July 2018 approval of the purchase of Teck's interest in the Waneta Dam.
A comment on minister Mungall's statement and the staff review of BC Hydro's costs.
The three main politic parties in Ontario are promising to reduce electricity prices, but are being vague as to what this will cost. It's time for the voters to become educated consumers.
A comment in response to Vaughn Palmer's article about the BC Investment Management Corporation and the well-funded public pension plans.
McClearn's article in the Globe and Mail provides a useful summary of many of the issues involved in the accounting dispute between the ontario auditor general and the government. Similar issues exist in British Columbia.
This 'Commentary' paper reviews the Ontario and BC public accounts committee discussion of the oppositin by the two auditors general of the application of reguatory accounting, and the impact to the governments' financial statements.
Rob Shaw of the Vancouver Sun summarizes the Utilities Commission's decision http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/b-c-utilities-commission-rejects-b-c-hydro-rate-freeze; Les Leyne of the Tmes Colonist comments http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/les-leyne-ndp-s-hydro-rate-freeze-thaws-in-a-hurry-1.23192381. My comments are also attached.
Can the BCUC approve BC Hydro's request to withdraw the 3% rate increase for 1 April 2018? I argue that it should not approve the request; includes final submission of 11 January 2018.
Resource economist Robert McCullough's testimonoy before the Site C panel on October 14th http://www.sitecinquiry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/00614_TTP-2_2017_10_14_Vancouver_TP-Transcripts-V14.pdf pg. 1562 to 1581; opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun of October 30th http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-site-c-proponents-fall-prey-to-sunk-costs-fallacy
The Tyee published my piece which describes the Ontario Auditor General's special report on a government scheme to subsidize electricity rates, and how electricity rates are subsidized in British Columbia; https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/10/24/Will-NDPEnd-BC-Hydro-Wild-West-Accounting/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=241017 also Andrew MacLeod's comments from Carole James https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/10/25/Fixing-BC-Hydro-Accounting/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=251017
This email informs Auditor General Bellringer of recent developments respecting BC Hydro's accounting for future unbilled and uncollected revenue.
Reprint of my article in today's Tyee; https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/06/16/NDP-Faces-Mess/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=160617
During the April 11, 2016 Question Period the minister of energy attempts to defend BC Hydro borrowing 100% of the dividend paid to the government; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLNr3RkqPyA, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs3jntTrgNI
A Fact Check on Hon. Bill Bennett's comments on the Jon McComd (CKNW) show, commenting on rate increases and BC Hydro's debt.
Marvin Shaffer criticizes the Liberal government's politicization of BC Hydro; http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-politics-versus-good-governance-for-b-c-hydro
Big banks have been pursuing questionable tactics to enhance revenue and profits, but BC Hydro has a unique way to achieve its revenue targets.
AMPC submissions of 2013 and 2017 call for BC Hydro to moderate cost and rate increaes; http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/electricity-alternative-energy/electricity/iepr/iepr_submission-association_of_major_power_consumers_round_1.pdf and http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/Proceedings/2017/DOC_48816_C9-7_AMPC-Evidence.pdf
Norman Farrell's post shows that domestic demand for BC Hydro's power has been flat while costs are rising;https://in-sights.ca/2017/02/09/awash-in-power-at-premium-prices/
Auditor General John Doyle and Charles Reid of BC Hydro review the Auditor's recent report on regulated accounting; https://www.leg.bc.ca/Pages/BCLASS-Legacy.aspx#%2Fcontent%2Flegacy%2Fweb%2Fcmt%2F39thparl%2Fsession-4%2Fpac%2Fhansard%2Fp11125x.htm starting at 1257 hrs.
Gwyn Morgan, writing in the Globe and Mail, cautions about erronous assertions displacing objective facts about energy and climate change;http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economic-insight/three-post-truths-about-global-energy-and-climate-change/article33465520/
A link to DeSmog Canada's website, with a focus on Site C;https://www.desmog.ca/site-c-dam-bc
My summary of BC Hydro's 2016 Q2 rseults, and a forecast to year-end.
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.
BC Hydro data on domestic sales 2006/07 to 2015/16 and three year forecast.
Marvin Shaffer comments on how the government's clean energy policy and the promotion of private power generation has driven up BC Hydro's costs;http://www.policynote.ca/how-the-so-called-clean-energy-plan-wreaks-havoc-on-bc-hydros-rates/
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.
Marvin Shaffer in The Tyee comments on the government's decision to apply industrial pricing for the new Woodfibre LNG plant; http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/11/16/BC-LNG-Power-Bills/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=161116
Norm Farrell reviews the rising costs of domestic electricity; https://in-sights.ca/2016/07/30/bc-hydro-destroyed-in-progress/
On 23 August 2016 the Times Colonist published a commentary co-written with Harry Swain; http://www.timescolonist.com/comment-hydro-pricing-what-the-minister-didn-t-tell-us-1.2328377