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Statement on BC Utilities Commission decision on public EV charging rates application

VANCOUVER: Today, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) announced it has denied BC Hydro’s request to increase public EV charging rates on an interim basis beginning September 1, and has instead initiated an expedited review of the BC Hydro’s application. The proposed increase to public EV charging rates, as set out in the application, is intended to address the Commission’s concern about the current rates, which presently under-recover BC Hydro’s costs of providing the service and which the Commission had directed BC Hydro to update as soon as possible.

BC Hydro had applied for interim approval of the increased rates while the application is under consideration to try to address this concern as quickly as possible. However, in BC Hydro’s view, the expedited review of BC Hydro’s application, initiated by the Commission, will achieve the same outcome. We respect the Commission’s decision and look forward to participating in this expedited process to review BC Hydro’s application.

BC Hydro’s application proposes increasing EV charging rates by 15 per cent on average. This responds to a previous Commission decision which indicated that BC Hydro’s current rates were too low relative to our costs. Our current rates are less than the cost of operating and maintaining the network, and the proposed increase was intended to ensure we’re recovering our costs as we look to expand our network significantly in the coming years with more British Columbians making the switch to electric vehicles.

The rates proposed in BC Hydro’s application also included a change from time-based energy rates to energy-based rates, as metering approvals and technology upgrades are completed. With energy-based rates, EV drivers will be charged based on actual energy dispensed, which the BCUC has previously determined is a fairer method.

In accordance with the BCUC directive, the current rates for 25-kilowatt, 50-kilowatt and 100-kilowatt charging stations will remain the same. Changes to rates will be based on the outcome of the BCUC process and we will keep customers informed as the process evolves.

In the meantime, we are committed to continue to grow the public EV charging network across B.C. British Columbia leads North America in EV adoption and the number of EVs in British Columbia has increased substantially over the past decade with more than 100,000 EV drivers on B.C. roads today. As a leader in renewable energy and technology, BC Hydro needs to build more charging infrastructure to keep pace with this substantial growth. Currently, we have 151 chargers at 84 sites across the province. In the next ten years, we’re proposing to expand to over 3,000 charging units.

We encourage interested parties and customers to submit comments via the BCUC website.

BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468