Energy Program Won’t Offset 28% Hydro Hike

The B.C. Liberals’ new energy program won’t do enough to help families who are struggling to afford the Liberals’ 28 per cent hydro rate hike, say the New Democrats.

“Hard-working families across British Columbia are struggling to make ends meet because of this government’s endless cost increases,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan. “This new tinkering won’t do much for the average family being gouged with a 28 per cent increase in their electricity bill.”

Horgan was responding to the B.C. Liberals’ announcement of a new makeshift energy rebate program, which won’t help low-income families who can’t afford new appliances in the first place.

He noted that because of the Liberal government’s massive hydro rate increases, many homeowners will not see substantial benefit from the initiative. He added that for those that do, the benefits simply don’t go far enough.

A more effective way of helping low-income families was proposed by Horgan in the spring legislative session with the Hydro Affordability Act. The act would have given the British Columbia Utilities Commission the authority to require B.C. Hydro to offer a discounted lifeline rate in order to maintain the affordability of energy for eligible low-income British Columbians, but the B.C. Liberals rejected it.

“The B.C. Liberals canceled LiveSmart B.C. and the PST exemption for Energy Star appliances,” said Horgan. “These new programs don’t even get us back to where we were.”

“The bottom line is this summer families across B.C. are going to be paying more for necessities. Whether it’s for hydro, MSP premiums or ferry fares, the B.C. Liberal government continues to make life less and less affordable