The provincial government is launching a two-phase review of BC Hydro in a bid to control costs and rates.

Energy minister and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall says customer bills have gone up 25 per cent since 2013 and 70 per cent since 2001.

Mungall says the first phase will be carried out in-house and the second phase by an expert panel, with opportunities for public engagement.

In our area, BC Hydro only directly serves the Arrow Lakes, Lardeau Valley, and upper Slocan Valley, but its rates do trickle down to FortisBC and Nelson Hydro customers.

Last year Mungall announced a one-year rate freeze but the BC Utilities Commission rejected it, substituting a three per cent rate increase.