BC Hydro Switching to Energy-Based Billing at their EV Charging Stations Starting June 2024

BC Hydro is set to introduce a new pricing model that will charge electric vehicle (EV) drivers based on the energy they consume rather than the time spent at charging stations.

Starting June 1, 2024, BC Hydro will implement energy-based rates at its public EV charging stations following approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). Under this new system, drivers will pay $0.3434 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for fast charging (25kW or above), and $0.2828 per kWh for Level 2 charging (under 25kW).

The shift to energy-based pricing is expected to make the cost of charging more predictable and understandable for EV drivers, aligning BC Hydro’s rates with those of other public charging networks in the province, like Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Along with energy-based billing, BC Hydro was also approved to add an idle fee of $0.40 per minute, starting five minutes after a vehicle has finished charging. Idle fees are common and are meant to discourage drivers from occupying charging stations longer than necessary.

This change to energy-based billing was first approved for all existing EV charging networks last year by Measurement Canada, and aims to address concerns that the previous time-based billing model unfairly penalized drivers of older or less efficient EVs, who would pay more due to slower charging speeds.

BC Hydro’s decision to adopt energy-based rates was informed by customer feedback, with a majority expressing preference for this model over time-based billing. The utility company conducted surveys showing that 75% of respondents favored energy-based pricing.

BC Hydro plans to expand the province’s charging infrastructure by adding 3,000 more ports over the next decade.

The BCUC had previously declined BC Hydro’s proposal for interim energy-based rates at their EV charging stations, citing significant differences from current rates and the absence of required approval from Measurement Canada for energy-based billing.

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