BC Hydro proposes EV charger rate increase

BC Hydro has applied to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to increase rates at its electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the province.

In an email sent to customers on Tuesday, a copy of which was received by Drive Tesla, BC Hydro says the application was filed on July 28, 2023, and that the new proposed rates are “slightly higher” than the current rates. According to the company the new rates “better align with market rates” and are being increased to help recover the costs of building out the network and operating the charging stations.

The BCUC has not decided on BC Hydro’s application, but if it is approved the new rates will be as follows as of September 1, 2023.

  • Level 2
    • $0.03 per minute (currently free)
  • DC Fast Chargers
    • $0.13 per minute for 25kW charging (currently $0.129)
    • $0.25 per minute for 50kW charging (currently $0.2133)
    • $0.33 per minute for 100kW charging (currently $0.2743)

Their email does note the application “sets the state for future updates, including energy-based pricing and idle fees,” but with an effective date of September 1, 2023, it appears BC Hydro is sticking with per-minute billing for the immediate future. Earlier this year Measurement Canada granted a temporary dispensation order allowing existing DC fast chargers to bill customers per kWh. Given the process required, BC Hydro will likely have to apply again for BCUC to approve their kWh rates when they are ready to make the switch.

So far only one company in Canada has switched to kWh billing. Couche-Tard switched to kWh billing for the first time in March, billing EV owners at $0.65/kwh. However a complicated and unclear approval process from Measurement Canada meant the company had to revert to time-based billing, but in June switched again to energy-based billing, dropping their rates by 40% to $0.39/kWh.

Despite hints in the mobile app, Tesla has yet to make the switch to kWh billing.

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