City facing electrical rate hikes in 2015

Hydro rates in Penticton will be going up in 2015. A meeting will be held in council chambers on Jan.7 to gather public input prior to further council discussion.

PENTICTON - Hydro rates in the city are going up next year. Exactly how much more Penticton residents will be paying remains to be decided.

Penticton City Council took on the issue of electrical rate increases at the Dec. 15  council meeting.

Staff told council three increases were coming in the new year, including a 3.5 per cent hike from FortisBC, taking effect on January 1, 2015.

In addition the city is facing a flow-through rate increase from B.C. Hydro of 1.05 per cent and a timing correction of .05 per cent, for a total increase of 4.6 per cent.
Staff outlined three alternatives for spreading the pain to customers. The highest impact on the customer would see the increase applied at the retail power sale level, which would result in a total increase of 5.11 per cent.

The method with the lowest impact to the customer would see the price applied at the wholesale power purchase level, which is the price at which the city buys power from FortisBC. This would result in a total increase of 3.7 per cent.

A third alternative would see the 4.6 per cent hike applied to the average of the retail and wholesale levels, for a total increase of 4.4 per cent to the consumer.
Figures for the electrical department’s 2015 budget are presently based on revenue derived from this option.

In deliberating the three options, council expressed concern about the impact on the budget should one of the other alternative methods be chosen. They elected to table a decision until January 7, when a public input session will be held prior to further council discussion.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.



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