Clean Energy Association of BC (CEBC) welcomes British Columbia’s updates to the Clean Energy Act by adding several key objectives. 

Among the objectives are to prioritize affordability for rate payers and to ensure B.C. Hydro acquires enough electricity to meet B.C.’s long-term climate targets under the Climate Change Accountability Act. Changes made through regulation require BC Hydro rate changes not to exceed cumulative inflation and remain stable from year to year. The province also wants to ensure that 100% of electricity generated in BC is clean or renewable by 2030.

“With costs rising across the country at rates that are unsustainable for many people, we are focused on keeping the cost of clean electricity as low as possible,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Affordable, stable BC Hydro rates are good for households, businesses and climate as we work together to power B.C.’s growing economy with clean energy instead of fossil fuels.”

Minister Osborne is responsible for ensuring the mandate of the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) is modernized to align with BC’s climate objectives, while keeping rates low. The required updates have now been proposed to the Clean Energy Act via a new regulation, which the BCUC is required to consider in all decisions.

Changes to the Act include:

  1. adding a new objective to ensure that BC Hydro rate changes do not exceed cumulative inflation. BC Hydro has applied to the utilities commission for rate increases below the rate of inflation for six years in a row.
  2. adding a new objective to ensure that BC Hydro rate changes are predictable and stable from year to year, providing greater certainty for people and businesses looking to invest in B.C.
  3. adding a new objective to ensure that BC Hydro is ready to acquire enough electricity to meet B.C.’s long-term climate targets under the Climate Change Accountability Act.
  4.  amending the existing objective that 93% of the electricity generated in B.C. needs to come from clean or renewable electricity generation (which the province has surpassed) to a target of 100% by 2030 for the integrated grid. This will not affect remote communities or the use of gas-fired electricity generation as emergency back up, or the use of natural gas for other needs, such as home heating.

CEBC Executive Director Kwatuuma Cole Sayers:

” This is an exciting time and a chance to take action against climate change. We can’t let this moment pass us by. CEBC is excited to see the updates to the Clean Energy Act. These updates will see both affordability and climate change objectives included into how our energy system is planned and overseen – both of which are key priorities and help accelerate the path to electrified, efficient, and low carbon economy. “

“We need more clean electricity as we take climate action and see more electrification. The public is changing its behaviour. And so is industry. EVs, fuel switching, heat pumps and the movement away from natural gas in homes and businesses mean more and more demand for electricity. Due to the benefit of hydroelectricity, about 98% of B.C.’s electricity production is non-emitting. However, 78% of our energy still comes from fossil fuels, which are still widely used for transportation, heating and heavy industry. To ensure the long-term economic health of B.C. and meet the Province of British Columbia’s CleanBC GHG targets, affordable, environmentally responsible, clean energy is critical. It’s the mission of Clean Energy B.C. and its members to help assist B.C. and its core industries in this energy transition.”

This spring, B.C. will launch it’s first competitive Call for Power in over 15 years to acquire new sources of renewable energy, including wind and solar. Along with the update to the Clean Energy Act, the province again reiterated that a series of calls will be following the spring call.

Clean Energy BC will be hosting GENERATE2024 on May 23 + 24 at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. GENERATE is BC’s largest clean energy conference and a must-attend event for clean energy industry professionals.