New business rate offers new opportunities to save
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 estimate customer electricity costs and will be removed from MyHydro.
On April 1, 2012, the first group of Medium General Service (MGS) accounts moved to a new rate structure, and a new way to benefit from energy efficiency. (MGS accounts are those with annual peak demand between 35-150 kW of electricity.)
The MGS Conservation Rate gives customers a credit on their bill when they reduce their electricity consumption below their historic baseline, or an additional charge if they consume more than their baseline. That means energy efficiency projects pay back faster, and benefit the bottom line more than they did previously.
BC Hydro has about 17,000 MGS accounts who will be switching to the new rate in three groups. The second and third groups will switch in April 2013 and 2014 respectively. If you're in the group that just changed to the new rate, you will have received several letters from BC Hydro with details.
"We involved customers in the design of the Conservation Rate and asked them how we can best communicate the new rate," says Scott Tone, project manager for the MGS Conservation Rate Implementation Project. "We've also created a number of online tools to help them make the most of the opportunities the rate affords.
"Those who aren't yet on the new rate can also go online to check their consumption history and start to learn about their usage patterns."
Online tools help you review, plan, and save
If you have accounts on the LGS or MGS Conservation Rates, the online Forecaster tool lets you see the energy costs of different energy usage scenarios. This tool automatically populates with your account's consumption history and baselines.
How much can you save by cutting back on consumption? Enter your anticipated energy use and find out.
If you're still on the MGS Interim Rate, there's a downloadable spreadsheet [XLS, 109 KB] that can help you budget your energy costs.
Both tools include the approved interim and estimated future general price increases to help you easily budget your future electricity costs.
Baselines are also available online to the LGS and MGS Conservation Rates accounts. It shows you how your historic average (baseline) has been calculated.
Past usage and data download
Accessing your account online lets you see how much electricity you've used in the past. You can also download detailed billing and usage data in a spreadsheet-ready format.
Easy to learn
Also online are several videos, an MGS webinar, and other resources to help customers understand clearly how the new rate structure works. Check out the following:
- MGS Tutorial Video
- Frequently Asked Questions
- MGS Guide [PDF, 142 KB]
- MGS Conservation Rate Bill Explainer
- MGS Interim Rate Bill Explainer (for those still on the interim rate)
- MGS Webinar
Says Tone, "The new rate structure provides a great incentive to our customers to reduce their energy consumption, and that's the goal. The new structure reflects the higher cost of new electricity supply, and the need for all of us to conserve."
Large General Service (LGS) customers switched to a conservation rate structure in 2011, with many reporting significant savings. 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.