The Surrey Board of Trade views the announcement of the increases in BC Hydro’s rates with concern in that the nine and six percent increases in the next two years (and lesser amounts in subsequent years) will be a significant challenge to many businesses in a time when the economy is still not strong.
“The economy is still struggling as are many of our members and increases to electricity rates will be a difficult challenge for many businesses including public institutions,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “At the same time we recognize that the aging grid and power generation infrastructure across the province must be addressed.” The question is how much infrastructure is being added and how is the administration of independent power suppliers proceeding.
“The fact that the rate increases are known well in advance may afford businesses time to make the necessary adjustments to meet these increases,” she said. It was noted though that most business that are major consumers of power have already completed their plans and pricing and booked sales for next year. This is a little late for these big firms to have any agility to offset these increases in the short run.
Additionally, such plans as the greater investment ($1.6 million) in the Power Smart program, along with the launch of a rate design review process to examine ways to provide industrial customers with more options to reduce their electricity costs, are welcome.
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At yesterday's Ronald McDonald Family Room (at Surrey Memorial Hospital) Fundraiser hosted by Kultar Thiara and his partners at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall and the Surrey Board of Trade, $30,000 in total was raised last night. Thank you to Bijoy Samuel, of REDFM and the Surrey Board of Trade President for MC'ing this event on a Sunday night! He was fabulous! And of course we could not have done this event without the great support from our friends at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall! The Family Room is set to open with the Critical Care Tower in June. The Ronald McDonald House is at around $400,000 of their $700,000 goal. These monies will go towards appliances, furniture etc that are needed for the family room.
Photo's from last night are at this link:
BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone spoke to the Surrey Board of Trade for his first visit to Surrey on Thursday, November 21st. He spoke on the TransLink Referendum, South Fraser Perimeter Road opening in December, and transportation and transit priorities for Surrey and South of the Fraser. Thank you to Renee Filippone of CBC News as our Master of Ceremonies and thank you to our sponsors: Port Metro Vancouver, TransLink. Media Sponsors: The Leader Newspaper and News 1130.