E-Plus rate updates

Residential E-Plus rate customers

As part of BC Hydro's 2015 Rate Design Application, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) conducted a review of the Residential E-plus rate. On January 20, 2017, after an extensive review process, the BCUC determined that maintaining the discounted rate could no longer be justified and issued an order directing BC Hydro to phase out Residential E-Plus rate over five years. On December 19, 2017, in response to feedback received from the E-Plus Homeowners Group, the BCUC extended the phase out period to take place gradually over a ten-year period.

The average Residential E-Plus customer will see an overall bill increase of two to three percent each year staring on April 1, 2018. This is in addition to any general rate increases that are in effect over the next ten years.

On April 1, 2028, customers on the Residential E-Plus rate will be transitioned to a standard residential rate. We'll notify Residential E-Plus customers closer to that date with more details on the rate transition.

During the transition period

During the transition period from April 2018 to April 2028, Residential E-Plus customers are no longer required to maintain a permanent back-up heating system. You're able to replace existing space and water heating equipment, and your E-Plus service won't be interrupted. The E-Plus rate is still only available for space and hot water heating. You cannot add new load to the service and accounts can't be transferred.

We offer rebates and tips to help customers improve their home's energy efficiency and save on electricity bills. Customers on the Residential E-Plus rate are encouraged to consider these to better manage their household electricity costs. Learn more.

Commercial E-Plus rate customers

The January 20, 2017 decision only applies to the Residential E-Plus rate. We have carefully considered this decision and determined that maintaining the General Service E-Plus rate discount cannot be justified when compared to other General Service customers.

Rate no longer available after March 31, 2023

On June 17, 2019, we sent a letter to all General Service E-Plus customers notifying them that the rate will no longer be available beyond March 31, 2023. We're providing notice early to allow customers sufficient time to plan and prepare for the rate change, including evaluating their existing heating systems and considering changing to more energy-efficient heating systems.

On April 1, 2023, customers on the General Service E-Plus rate will be transitioned to the appropriate General Service rate.

During the transition period until March 31, 2023, General Service E-Plus customers are no longer required to maintain a permanent back-up heating system. You're able to replace existing space and water heating equipment, and your E-Plus service won't be interrupted.

The General Service E-Plus rate will still only be available for space and hot water heating, new load can't be added to the service and accounts can't be transferred.

We offer programs and incentives to help commercial customers improve their business' energy efficiency. Customers on the General Service E-Plus rate are encouraged to consider these to better manage their business' electricity costs. Learn more.

Background

Customers on the E-Plus rate (Residential Rate Schedule 1105 and General Service Rate Schedules 1205, 1206 and 1207) have been paying a discounted rate for separately metered electric heating on the condition that the E-Plus service could be interrupted when we don't have sufficient surplus energy that can be economically provided from other sources. E-Plus customers were also required to maintain a permanent back-up heating system.

Since the rate was introduced in 1987, E-Plus service has never been interrupted. The rate was closed to new customers in 1990, and as of April 1, 2008 it's only available in premises where there has not been a change of customer.

The Residential E-Plus rate was reviewed by the BCUC as part of BC Hydro's 2015 Rate Design Application. Over a period of 18 months, both the BCUC and BC Hydro considered feedback from residential E-Plus customers, the E-Plus Homeowners Group and interveners who represented other customers. We proposed to maintain the Residential E-Plus rate with a change to the Special Conditions to make it practical for us to interrupt electricity service, as was the rate's initial intent.

After an extensive review process, the BCUC determined the benefits of maintaining a discounted rate for Residential E-Plus customers could no longer be justified and issued an order to phase it out over five years as part of its Decision on our 2015 Rate Design Application [PDF, 1.8 MB].

As part of a subsequent regulatory filing by the E-Plus Homeowners Group, the BCUC reconsidered how the phase out would be implemented. The BCUC determined the phase out period will occur over a ten year period starting on April 1, 2018 to allow customers enough time to adjust to the changes. It will remain as a flat rate, with the Residential E-Plus rate discount gradually reduced to zero over the ten year period.

On April 1, 2028, customers on the Residential E-Plus rate will be transitioned to a standard residential rate.