(File Photo)

The BC NDP government has announced that it will be launching a two-phase review of BC Hydro in an effort to control rates and costs of operation.

During the first phase, the Crown corporation will undergo a preliminary review conducted by an advisory group – consisting of staff from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Finance, and BC Hydro – to determine what changes can be made to keep rates low and predictable in the future.

This portion of the evaluation will take place over summer 2018, with a full report to be made available by the fall. After an analysis, the government plans to aid BC Hydro in forming a revised rates plan to be filed with the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) in February 2019.

Second half

For the next phase, the Provincial government plans to establish an expert panel to advise the corporation on how best to take advantage of technological shifts and new climate action strategies.

This panel is forecasted to make its recommendations to the government by fall 2019.

The review comes after a 3% BC Hydro rate increase in April 2018, which was announced after the NDP promised that rates would be frozen “immediately”.

According to the NDP, BC Hydro rates have gone up by 25% since 2013, and by more than 70% since 2001.