BC Hydro has applied to energy regulators for permission to introduce a new residential electricity rate seemingly aimed squarely at electric vehicle (EV) drivers.
The new time-of-use rate is called “optional” by the utility in its letter and proposal to regulators at the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC). The proposal calls for creating a new “add on” rate which leaves existing rates largely in place, but adds an overlaying structure where electricity costs more (or less) during specific times of day. The overlay would essentially add a five-cent discount for each kWh of electricity consumed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. — what BC Hydro calls its “Overnight period” — and an additional 5-cent upcharge for each kWh of electricity consumed between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. — the so-called “On-Peak period” for energy use.
Customers opting into the program would see no discounts or additional charges the rest of the day, according to chief regulatory officer Chris Sandve, who sent the letter and proposal Feb. 27.
BC Hydro said customers under this optional rate could choose to shift their energy-intensive activities — like charging their EV, or running their dishwasher or dryer — to off-peak hours and see significant savings. Customers with an electric vehicle, according to the utility, “could save an average of $40 and up to $250 per year by enrolling in this rate and charging their electric vehicle during overnight hours.”
There’s no set timeline for how soon the proposal might be approved, but Sandve requested the BCUC act by April 1, 2024. BC Hydro also said it was exploring other rate choices for its customers and will submit additional proposals to the commission for review and approval in the future.
To read the entire proposal visit the website: www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/regulatory-planning-documents/regulatory-filings/time-of-use/Exhibit-B-1-Optional-Residential-TOU-Rate-Application-20230227.pdf