Help shape your future electricity rates
The way British Columbians use electricity is changing, and it's time for us to review how we determine your electricity rates.
Throughout 2021, you'll have opportunities to give us feedback as we explore options for what residential electricity rates could look like in the future. We want to make sure that you're charged for electricity use in a way that:
- Keeps your electricity costs affordable.
- Reflects the changing environmental and technological landscape.
- Is fair to you and all customers.
Your input will help inform the application we submit to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) early next year, in which we'll propose our approach for how you’ll be charged for electricity use in the future.
Why it's time to re-evaluate your electricity rates
Since 2008, you've been charged for your electricity use according to the Residential Conservation Rate. In this approach, you're charged one rate for electricity up to a certain threshold in each billing period, and a higher rate for all electricity use beyond that threshold. This is known as a "stepped rate structure."
Read more about how the Residential Conservation Rate works.
We introduced the Residential Conservation Rate to encourage our customers to conserve electricity, but a lot has changed since 2008. For example, more of us are:
- Using smart technologies in our homes.
- Making energy-conscious decisions to reduce our costs, support energy conservation, and address climate change.
- Buying and charging electric vehicles at home.
- Switching to clean electricity from gas to reduce our carbon footprint.
The approach we've been using may not work best for these new technologies and behaviours. That's why we're exploring new approaches, while also ensuring fairness for all customers.
What the process will look like
Phase 1 (April to May 2021): Understanding your needs
In our first phase, we engaged with residential customers to collect feedback and input on how you use electricity and what's important to you when it comes to the cost of electricity.
We heard from more than 25,000 British Columbians through online surveys, virtual workshops, a telephone town hall, and smaller engagement sessions with Indigenous Nations and key stakeholder groups.
We're now thoughtfully reviewing your feedback and using it to help shape the new potential rate options that we'll share with you for feedback later this summer.
Phase 2 (August to September 2021): Gathering your input on possible approaches
In this phase, we'll give you more details about potential new options for how we determine your electricity costs. You'll have an opportunity to provide feedback and let us know what you think about the different options.
Phase 3 (November to December 2021): Gathering your feedback on the proposed approach
If we decide on a new approach, we'll make our proposal available on this website. We'll invite you to provide feedback again before we finalize it.
What happens after Phase 3
In early 2022, we'll submit an application to the BCUC and also post it here on our website to keep you informed. In the application, we'll outline our proposed approach for how you'll be charged for electricity use in the future.
The BCUC will review the application and determine next steps. We'll keep you informed throughout the process so you know what the status is.
Any changes we make to your residential electricity rates will need to be approved by the BCUC.