“A clean future powered by water” – BC Hydro’s new 5-year plan
By Anthony Capkun
September 29, 2021 – British Columbia and BC Hydro have revealed BC Hydro’s new five-year electrification plan, which aims to “make it easier and more affordable for people to efficiently use more of B.C.’s clean electricity in place of fossil fuels”.
The plan—“A clean future powered by water”—involves an investment of more than $260 million over the next five years, which includes nearly $190 million to promote fuel-switching in homes and buildings, vehicles and industry, and more than $50 million to attract new industries to B.C. that are looking for “clean power” to run their businesses, thereby reducing their carbon footprint.
The plan also includes programs to reduce the time required to get customers connected to BC Hydro’s grid.
As for how the costs will be covered, the government says “As more customers increase the use of electricity, BC Hydro’s energy sales will increase, providing more revenue to cover its fixed system costs and helping keep rates low for everyone”.
If the electrification plan is fully realized, BC Hydro estimates that customer rates will be about 1.6% lower by 2026 compared to what they would be if there were no plan. (The utility does not say what those rates would be.)
There will also be some $20 million in incentives and study funding to support the production of hydrogen, with the aim of advancing the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy.
Other actions and/or investments to promote fuel switching include:
• Up to $26 million for building incentives, including up to $13 million in “top-up” offers for residential heat pumps (up to $3000 per household) and new incentives for lower-income and commercial customers.
• Up to $30 million in incentives for the electrification of transportation (buses, ferries and fleets).
• Over $60 million in incentives for industrial fuel switching.
• Public campaigns to increase public awareness of heat pumps and electric vehicles.
• Continued support for delivery of existing CleanBC programs.
BC Hydro’s electrification plan and associated expenditures were filed with the B.C. Utilities Commission as part of BC Hydro’s Fiscal 2023-25 Revenue Requirements Application on September 1, 2021.
DOWNLOAD THE PLAN (PDF): BC 5yr Electrification Plan SEP2021