Site C dam will impct the public purse

Tom Fletcher’s piece (PNR, Dec. 19) rightly reminds us of the already escalated costs.

Tom Fletcher’s piece (PNR, Dec. 19) rightly reminds us of the already escalated costs of “the most expensive public construction project in B.C. history.”

Another mega project, another railroading of affected communities, another cost overrun handed off to the public purse.

Every utility in the world knows the biggest return on investment comes from energy conservation. Site C does nothing to incentivize this behaviour. We could easily reduce energy demand by encouraging consumers to become co-producers of the province’s energy needs. With the rapid proliferation of micro-generation technology, we can greatly multiply the conservation efforts of the past.

The standard in many parts of the world today is to build energy plus homes. As the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association points out, costs are dropping and like it or not this global standard will find its way into the B.C. marketplace long before Site C is paid off.

MLA Andrew Weaver, the Auditor General of B.C. and the Utilities Commission concur that much of B.C. Hydro’s financial accounting includes cost deferrals and dividend manipulations that allow the government of the day to obscure the true impact. But there can be no confusion about one fact: B.C. Hydro benefits from ultra low borrowing costs due to the government guarantee behind each loan. Homeowners should be so lucky.

B.C. Hydro is betting $8.77 Billion that we will continue to lag behind the rest of the country in our commitment to alternative energy.

Thomas Teuwen, Sidney