More companies to conserve with new rate structure
2017 update: BC Hydro electricity rates for Large General Service (LGS) customers and Medium General Service (MGS) changed as of April 1, 2017. LGS and MGS customers are all charged under simpler, flat rates with no tiered pricing for energy and demand charges.
The online Baseline and Forecaster tools are no longer required to customers estimate your electricity costs and will be removed from MyHydro.
Starting next April, some customers of BC Hydro's Medium General Service (MGS) rate class will shift to a new "conservation rate" structure. About one-third of all MGS customers will make the switch in 2012, with the rest following suit in 2013 and 2014. (Find out if you're an MGS customer. If your company is in the group moving to the new rate in 2012, you will have received a letter last month to notify you.)
Conservation rates are one of the tools BC Hydro uses to encourage conservation. Says Sylvia von Minden, Manager of Rate Design & Tariff Administration at BC Hydro, "Over the last six years we've been putting in place new rate structures that encourage and support our conservation goals. The new structures reflect the higher cost of new electricity supply and provide an increased financial incentive when consumption is reduced."
Conservation rate structures are now in place for BC Hydro's transmission customers, Large General Service (LGS) customers, and residential customers. The MGS rate class includes smaller industrial and larger commercial customers. Once all of the MGS rate customers make the switch, about 90% of BC Hydro's domestic load will be billed on conservation-based rate structures.
LGS customers who shifted to the new conservation rate structure in January 2011 and who've taken steps to improve their efficiency are already noticing the financial benefits. Castle Fun Park, an amusement park in Abbotsford, has seen "sizeable credits" on their bill, while Cintas Canada has found conservation credits help build their business case for efficiency improvements.
The new rate structure for MGS customers is very similar to the LGS Conservation Rate – it is built around a customer's historic usage, called a baseline. Customers are charged a higher rate for electricity usage that goes above their baseline and customers who reduce their consumption receive a credit on their bill at the same higher rate,providing an incentive to conserve. If a customer's current use matches their baseline use, there is very little change to their bill.
Coupled with Power Smart programs that provide expertise and financial incentives, conservation rates offer B.C. businesses significant benefits for taking on energy-efficiency improvements.
A good first step for all customers – whether you're shifting to the new rate in April, are already on a conservation rate, or won't be changing for another few years – is to ensure that you have registered your account online to access information and tools about your account and your electricity consumption. You can also learn all about MGS Conservation Rate online.