New plan makes it easier to switch from fossil fuels to made-in-B.C. clean electricity (

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Lindsay Byers

Press Secretary
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

Media Relations
250 952-0622

BC Hydro

Media Relations
604 928-6468


BC Hydro’s Electrification Plan – A clean future powered by water

The Province and BC Hydro share common goals to shape a clean-energy future and bring new clean industry to B.C.

In June 2021, the Government of British Columbia announced recommendations from Phase 2 of the BC Hydro Review to help people, businesses and industries use clean electricity to reduce their carbon footprint, including the recommendation that BC Hydro should develop a short-term electrification plan that builds on the key results of the Phase 2 Review and supports CleanBC.

The Plan:

BC Hydro’s Electrification Plan – A clean future powered by water, is BC Hydro’s plan to pursue electrification opportunities in three key areas: buildings, transportation and industry.

Residential and commercial buildings in B.C. represent almost 11% of the province’s total emissions – mostly due to how space and water is heated. The plan supports the switch to clean, electric heat pumps in homes and businesses.

The transportation sector accounts for about 40% of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions. While it is in the early stages of making the shift to cleaner transportation, B.C. has seen the most significant growth in the passenger vehicle segment. The plan builds on that growth, and promotes the switch to medium- and heavy-duty on- and off-road electric vehicles, including trucks, buses, forklifts, mining conveyance and commercial fleets, as well as ferries and other marine equipment. 

The plan also supports the objective of expanding BC Hydro’s public fast-charging network (currently about 90 fast charging stations) with the goal to have 325 stations in place throughout the province by the end of 2025.

Industry accounts for about 40% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. Major sources include compressors in the natural gas sector, diesel engines in mining and forestry, and process heat in the forest products industry. As much of this could be powered by clean electricity, industrial electrification offers the largest overall potential for emissions reduction in B.C., both by switching from diesel and natural gas to electricity at existing facilities and by choosing to use electricity in new facilities instead of fossil fuels.

The plan offers incentives for fuel switching in industry, as well as strategies and investments to attract new clean industry to B.C., including hydrogen production, carbon capture, synthetic fuel production and data centres.

Actions and Investments: 

 BC Hydro plans to invest over $260 million to advance its electrification plan between Fiscal 2022 (starting April 1,2021) and Fiscal 2026 (ending March 31, 2026). The funding includes:

  • more than $190 million to promote fuel switching in homes and buildings, transportation and industries; and
  • more than $50 million to attract new load (electricity demand) from customers who have flexibility in which jurisdictions they operate.

Actions/investments to promote fuel switching include:  

  • up to $26 million for building incentives, including up to $13 million in “top-up” offers for residential heat pumps (up to $3,000 per household) and new incentives for lower-income and commercial customers;
  • up to $30 million in incentives for the electrification of transportation (buses, ferries and fleets); 
  • over $60 million in incentives for industrial fuel switching; 
  • public campaigns to increase public awareness of heat pumps and electric vehicles; and
  • continued support for delivery of existing CleanBC programs.

 Actions/investments to attract new industrial customers include:

  • up to $25 million in incentives and study funding for new customers;
  • up to $20 million in incentives and study funding to support the production of hydrogen;
  • site development strategy to help connect customers at sites with existing electrical infrastructure; and 
  • public awareness strategy to promote BC Hydro’s clean electricity advantage. 

Other actions/investments include:

  • supporting the residential supply chain sector for heat pump technologies to help transform the market for residential space and water heating; 
  • ensuring adequate resources to support connecting customers in the timelines required;
  • improvements to BC Hydro’s interconnections process;
  • supporting actions that complement government efforts to drive changes to policies, codes and standards; and
  • a marketing and communications plan to build the market for electrification.


BC Hydro has a surplus of clean electricity, which provides an opportunity to increase new domestic electricity sales to increase the value of that surplus, creating benefits for ratepayers. This is because domestic electricity sales generate more revenue than exporting surplus electricity – rate schedules for BC Hydro’s residential, commercial and industrial ratepayer categories are generally higher than forecast export market prices. The incremental revenue generated by the plan exceeds associated costs.

BC Hydro estimates that if the electrification plan is fully realized, customer rates will be about 1.6% lower by 2026 compared to what they would be if there were no plan.

The electrification plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping to achieve the emissions reduction targets set by the Government of British Columbia and combat climate change. If the low-carbon electrification and load-attraction actions in the plan are fully realized, it will result in incremental emissions reductions of more than 900,000 tonnes per year by 2026. That is equivalent to taking approximately 200,000 passenger vehicles off the road per year.

The electrification plan will provide economic benefits, creating good sustainable jobs by attracting investment from new energy-intensive companies (e.g., data centres, hydrogen production and clean technology) and by making B.C. a destination for new industry technologies. By reducing rate increases, the plan will also help new and existing industries remain cost competitive.

Next Steps:

BC Hydro’s electrification plan and associated expenditures were filed with the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) as part of BC Hydro’s Fiscal 2023-25 Revenue Requirements Application on Sept. 1, 2021. The BCUC’s review of the application is a public process.

To learn more about BC Hydro’s Electrification Plan – A clean future powered by water, visit: