In-Sights: Financial destruction of BC Hydro

Simple financial analysis demonstrates that management of BC Hydro during recent years was thoroughly incompetent. Largely, that is explained by policies and people imposed by BC Liberals on a utility that had served the public proficiently for more than four decades…

In-Sights: Masking BC Hydro’s financial condition

Under BC Liberals, BC Hydro stopped using regulatory accounts for rate smoothing and used them instead to hide the true state of the utility’s financial condition.

In-Sights: BC Hydro aims to mislead citizens about domestic consumption

If we had experienced more truthfulness from BC Hydro, the province would not be spending billions on Site C. Not only is the project an option more expensive than alternatives, domestic demand does not support the addition of any new sources of power beyond those involving upgrades of existing generating facilities.

In-Sights: Organizational inertia and Site C

While the NDP has done much to change the direction of government in BC, they’ve been paralyzed when it comes energy policies. BC Hydro has been a troubled organization for years and it will not be rescued by timid actions. That’s bad news for every BC business and ever resident who consumes electricity.

In-Sights: Priorities

There is a small group of people — BC Liberals and friends — who viewed BC Hydro as a giant faucet for disbursement of cash. It is a costly reality for consumers of electricity in British Columbia…

In-Sights: Canadians spit into the wind

Slowing of growth in carbon emissions falls well short of the sharp drop in carbon emissions thought necessary to achieve Paris climate goals. We need a far more decisive break from the past…

In-Sights: Solar power unstoppable, even on the wet coast

Dave Melrose, a reader who is in the solar installation business, commented on my previous article Death knell for net metering. He worries that people could be misinformed because I didn’t make clear that self-generation of electricity remains viable for homeowners. People tell me a 15-year payback on solar installations is common, even without selling ...

In-Sights: Vested interests dictate energy policy

The coming shifts in power distribution is referred to as the democratization of energy. It is resisted at BC Hydro and other utilities but it is inevitable…

In-Sights: Liberal amounts of fake accounting

Residents of British Columbia understand financial pain that follows when officeholders subvert public utilities to gain political advantage and reward special interests. BC Liberals aimed to privatize public assets and services. When it could not be achieved overtly, it was done by stealth. After inevitable failures and disasters, legislators concealed them by employing a broad misinformation ...

In-Sights: Death knell for net metering

BC Hydro fears the amount of power fed to the grid by participants in net metering will expand substantially. As a result, this week the utility announced they intend to change the program so that it is not available to customers generating power beyond their own energy needs…

In-Sights: Liberal energy policy, blunder or costly malfeasance?

Considering the near endless ink and airtime dedicated to what Liberals called “Glen Clark’s folly,” people should compare the attention paid to a Campbell/Clark program that may have cost the province 15 or 20 times as much.

In-Sights: Dear John letter

A letter republished with permission of the BC Hydro Ratepayers Association. Dear Premier Horgan…

In-Sights: Plug pulled on PowerBC

Before John Horgan was sworn in as Premier, BC NDP promoted a wise alternative to construction of Site C, a dam that would cost many billions of dollars and had no certain customers for electricity generated. “Clean energy and energy conservation technology will increasingly power our economy and drive the jobs of the future. A ...

In-Sights: Private power – BC’s unmitigated financial disaster

The Horgan Government indicated it will conduct a review of private power purchases but lifting contract secrecy is the one thing that could be done immediately. It is inconceivable that IPPs could prove damages from publication of contracts since the business terms are widely known throughout the industry. Secrecy only exists to protect politicians and ...

In-Sights: Real news reshaped, redefined and side tracked

Independent Voter Network declares: A free press is the watchdog of the people. The media holds the sacred responsibility of alerting the citizenry of actions by governments, elected politicians, corporations and even private citizens. It is the fourth estate… But now the fourth estate is in crisis. The news media has been reshaped, redefined, and ...

In-Sights: Shilling for dollars

Updated from June 2016. In an earlier article, I made reference to BC Legislative Press Gallery members producing commissioned articles. These are public relations pieces intended to serve particular needs of government or entities doing business with government. It is the kind of output that will ultimately be replaced by automated journalism. Mike Smyth’s June ...

In-Sights: What Hydro, Government and corporate media hates reporting

BC Hydro’s sales of electricity to residents and businesses have been flat since 2005, despite population growth of 15% in BC and minimal effort by the provincial utility  to reduce consumption. BC Hydro hides the fact by including sales outside the province in the once insignificant “Other” category and counting these as domestic sales. Despite ...

In-Sights: Misappropriation of public wealth

This article was first published in April 2016 and is repeated because is explains how BC Hydro got into the private power mess that continues to cost ratepayers hundreds of million of dollars each year. Readers may tire of reports on BC Hydro but the more I examine this public utility, the more convinced I ...

In-Sights: The fix was in

In a November 2017 post at his blog, York University Professor Mark Winfield, notes the failures of politicians when tasked with making energy decisions: The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has just announced a public inquiry into how the economically disastrous Muskrat Falls hydro-electric project was approved. In reality there is little mystery. The project ...

In-Sights: Site C, a Kodak moment

For many years, I worked in the motion picture film laboratory business. One of our profit centres was processing TV News film footage. We had machines in or near TV stations in Vancouver and Victoria. If a story was breaking, news departments would dispatch a reporter and  cameraman to the scene. Rolls of exposed 16mm ...

In-Sights: Someone is telling us lies

When BC Liberals said the Site C completion budget was $7.9 billion, the cost of power from the project was stated to be $87 – $95 per megawatt-hour (MWh). Now, with the Site C budget up 26% to $10.7 billion, John Horgan’s NDP government claims the cost per MWh has fallen 32% to $60. Were ...

In-Sights: More Energy Ministry duplicity

Four months ago, concerned that BC Hydro had failed to make public its second quarter report as required by law, I wrote this message to Minister Michelle Mungall: From: Norman Farrell [mailto:normanfarrell.ca@gmail.com] Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:33 PM To: Minister, EMPR EMPR:EX Subject: BC Hydro – Overdue Quarterly Report May I have a copy ...

In-Sights: Deceit is still a BC Government tool

A BC Government “technical presentation” regarding its decision to continue construction of Site C is filled with misinformation, deceit and false justifications. If this is the quality of the advice taken by John Horgan’s cabinet on one rather important issue, we should be concerned about every other policy being considered. Apparently, if truths are inconvenient, ...

In-Sights: BC Hydro, the next steps

I’m disappointed in the provincial government’s decision to continue Site C. It is not the choice I would have made, were I in a position of influence. However, I understand it. Financial issues interconnect. Finance ministry people influenced the Site C decision, emphasizing that what is done today affects what can be done tomorrow. A $4 ...

In-Sights: From Erik Andersen

In private emails, a number of people with expert economic knowledge exchange ideas about energy in BC. I get copies of some. This example, written by respected and retired economist Erik Andersen, refers to electricity markets in BC: This is a presentation of what’s called  a “coffin corner”, running out of flying speed and altitude ...