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School trustees want special hydro rate

The B.C. School Trustees Association is asking the government for a break from soaring energy costs, saying power rate increases will mean fewer programs for students.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett announced last month that hydro rates will go up by 40 per cent over the next decade, with the first increase of nine per cent coming next spring.

Association president Teresa Rezansoff says hydro costs for more than 1,600 schools across the province already cost $35.5 million a year.

She says the rate increase will push that figure up by an estimated $4.1 million next year, and by about $29 million over the next five years.

Rezansoff says school boards already get limited funding, and the rising utility costs will lead to additional staff losses and fewer student services.

The association is asking Bennett to either exempt public schools from the rate increases or to provide a special rate for schools.

The Canadian Press

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