New BC electrification plan focuses on hydro

Renewable energy programs to reduce GHG, customer rates

With the support of the Government of British Columbia, BC Hydro has launched a new five-year electrification plan to increase the affordability, ease and usage of renewable energy rather than continual reliance on fossil fuels.

The plan, A Clean Future Powered by Water, proposes new programs and incentives to advance the switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity in homes and commercial buildings, vehicles and fleets, businesses and industry, as well as to attract new energy-intensive industries to British Columbia. It also includes programs to reduce the time to connect customers to BC Hydro’s grid.

The utility estimates that when the electrification plan is fully realized, customer rates will be about 1.6% lower by 2026 compared to what rates would be without the plan. A critical difference is greater investment in infrastructure renewal and replacement that will be performed to help keep the rates low.

“Choosing water power to run homes, vehicles and businesses instead of gasoline, diesel or natural gas (is) a smart choice,” said Bruce Ralston of the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “BC Hydro’s electrification plan will help reduce emissions and keep rates lower, attracting new clean investment and innovation to B.C. and generating economic development and good, sustainable jobs.”

On average, 98% of the province’s electricity is primarily sourced from hydropower generation. Switching from fossil fuels to clean electricity is expected to reduce air pollution in the near term, while mitigating climate change factors in the long term.

If actions in the plan are fully realized, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of more than 930,000 tons per year by 2026 will be reduced.

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