California has rejected an offer by Canada-based BC Hydro’s Powerex to refund US$125M to settle alleged overcharging.

Powerex, BC Hydro’s power trading subsidiary, sold electricity to California at allegedly exorbitant rates during California’s power crisis. California claims that Powerex overpriced its supply by more than US$430M. BC Hydro has denied allegations of price gouging.

The offer from Powerex came during 15 days of settlement talks initiated by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission between power generators, distributors, California and other western states.

BC Hydro, a provincially owned Canadian utility, offered to subtract US$125M from the US$290M California still owes to the utility for power sales.

The refusal by California to settle the dispute would send the matter to US judicial and regulatory authorities.

California is also seeking nearly US$9B in refunds from power generators. It refused settlement offers from other generators, saying they were inadequate.