Hydro rates in B-C will increase three per cent in April after the province’s independent energy regulator overruled a government promise to freeze rates for one year. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall says she’s disappointed with the B-C Utilities Commission’s decision, but it has prompted the government to immediately start planning to help those who are struggling to pay their power bills. The NDP government campaigned last spring on promises to tackle rising hydro rates and last November Mungall announced plans to request that the utilities commission freeze the scheduled April increase. But the commission rejected the government’s request on the grounds that other increases have done little to meet the revenue needs at the Crown-owned utility. The utilities commission decision also formally approved earlier increases of four per cent in 2016 and 3.5 per cent last year. Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says it’s just another broken promise by an NDP government that stumbles into messes that cost all of us because it puts rhetoric ahead of planning.