Residential E-Plus updates
On January 20, 2017 the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) directed us to phase out the Residential E-Plus rate as part of its Decision on our 2015 Rate Design Application [PDF, 1.8 MB].
Since the BCUC Decision
BC Hydro filed for an extension to submit the five-year phase out proposal
The decision was unexpected. So to better support customers in the transition and allow time for us to gather customer feedback for how best to phase out the Residential E-Plus rate during the five year transition period, we filed with the BCUC for an extension until June 1, 2017 to submit the proposal. The BCUC approved this extension request on February 16, 2017.
E-Plus Homeowners Group filed for reconsideration of the decision
On February 19, 2017, the E-Plus Homeowners Group (EPHG) filed an application with the BCUC to reconsider the decision. In response, the BCUC issued a procedural letter on February 24, 2017 [PDF, 320 KB] outlining the process for reconsideration.
BC Hydro and registered interveners have until March 17, 2017 to submit written comments on the merits of the EPHG's request to reconsider the decision. The EPHG then has until March 31, 2017 to submit their replies to all comments. The BCUC will then review all submissions and determine if there is any merit to reconsidering the decision.
What's next for Residential E-Plus rate customers?
Until the BCUC makes its decision on the Homeowners Group reconsideration filing, you will continue to receive the discounted E-Plus rate. We'll inform you when we receive the BCUC's decision.
During this time, you're no longer required to maintain your permanent back-up heating system in working order. In addition, your E-Plus service will not be interrupted during this transition period.
Commercial E-Plus rate customers
The January 20, 2017 decision only applies to the Residential E-Plus rate.
The Commercial E-Plus rate is being reviewed as part of Module 2 of the Rate Design Application. We're currently gathering customer and stakeholder feedback on the Commercial E-Plus rate.
BC Hydro's proposal in the 2015 Rate Design Application
After considering all the customer and stakeholder feedback, we proposed continuing with the discounted rate for electric heating but also proposed changing the Special Conditions to make it practical for us to interrupt electricity service, as was the rate's initial intent.
The BCUC decision
After an extensive review process, the BCUC rejected our proposal and determined the benefits of maintaining a discounted rate for residential E-Plus customers could no longer be justified. The BCUC directed us to:
- Submit a proposal within 30 days to phase-out the Residential E-Plus rate over a period of five years.
- Waive the requirement of having an alternative heating system in working order for Residential E-Plus customers during the five year transition period.
- Eliminate the possibility of Residential E-Plus service being interrupted (due to insufficient energy or capacity) during the five-year transition period.
Customers on the Residential E-Plus rate (Rate Schedule 1105) pay a discounted rate for electric heating on the condition electricity service can be interrupted when we don't have sufficient energy.
In addition, E-Plus customers have to maintain a permanent back-up heating system in working order. Since the rate was introduced in 1987, E-Plus service has never been interrupted.