We’re investing in our electricity system and keeping rates as low as possible. The 10-year plan for BC Hydro rates ensures predictable rates and reasonable increases. A rate increase of nine per cent takes effect on April 1, 2014. Learn more:
Residential Conservation Rate
Under the Residential Conservation Rate, customers pay 7.52 cents per kWh for the first 1,350 kWh they use over an average two-month billing period. Above that amount, customers pay 11.27 cents per kWh for the balance of the electricity used during the billing period.
This rate structure is designed to encourage conservation and is referred to as a "stepped rate". The first portion is called Step 1 and the amount above that is called Step 2.
How your threshold is determined
On your bill, the Step 1 threshold is calculated by multiplying the number of days in the billing period by 22.1918 kWh per day.
Customer meters are read on different days so billing periods can vary from bill to bill. The 22.1918 kWh per day is the daily equivalent of 1,350 kWh for the average two month billing period.
For example, a 60-day billing period would have a Step 1 threshold of 1,332 kWh (60 days x 22.1918 kWh per day). A 58-day billing period would have a 1,287 kWh Step 1 threshold.
Why do we have a Step 2 rate?
Demand for electricity in British Columbia is growing and new electricity supply is more expensive than power from our existing resources. The higher Step 2 price is a better reflection of the real cost of that new electricity supply.
The stepped rate structure provides a price incentive to encourage conservation—which is the cleanest, cheapest and simplest way to meet growing electricity demand.
Knowing how to read your BC Hydro residential customer bill is a good way to monitor and manage your electricity usage.
Exempt Residential Service Rate for farms
The Exempt Residential Service Rate is available to eligible residential service farms. Under the exempt rate, customers pay 17.75 cents per day for their basic charge and 9.01 cents per kWh of all electricity used during the billing period.
If you are currently on the Residential Conservation Rate but your property is classified as a farm and the electricity is for residential farm use, you may be eligible for the Exempt Residential Service Rate.
Electricity service for residential farm use must not be used for:
- Any dwelling other than a single-family dwelling
- The processing of farm products that aren't produced on your farm
- The selling of farm products or other products to the public, other than from a small roadside stand
- Any commercial use not normally carried out on a farm
If you meet these eligibility requirements and wish to discuss your rate options, please contact our Customer Service team at 604 224 9376 or 1 800 224 9376. They're available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.