Current rate design activities
There are a variety of ways you can participate in our rate design process. Check out the current activities below to see if you're interested.
Our Electric Tariff contains our terms and conditions of service, and pricing. Since the last major update to our terms and conditions in 2017, we’ve observed a number of customer and operational challenges that warrant an update.
While some of the updates are housekeeping in nature, others will impact customers, such as changes to the distribution extension policy. This policy addresses requirements when an extension to our distribution system is needed to connect a customer.
In early 2023, we’ll conduct jurisdictional analysis and public engagement to gather input on the updates being considered. We plan to file an application to the BCUC in the summer of 2024.
Net metering allows customers to offset their electricity consumption by generating their own energy. In 2019, the BCUC approved our application to reduce the surplus energy payout price to better reflect its value to BC Hydro.
At that time, the BCUC also:
- Encouraged us to investigate virtual net metering, and consider if hydroelectric generating systems should be treated differently from solar.
- Directed us to file an evaluation report, which we submitted in 2020. The report [PDF, 2.3 MB] highlighted an under-recovery of costs from net metering participants.
We’ll engage with customers throughout 2023 about the net metering program, including the considerations noted above, all of which are to be addressed in an application to the BCUC by the end of 2023.
The process for customers to connect or increase their load on our transmission system can be lengthy. Customers are increasingly requesting service for a portion of their load on an interim basis, while we continue to reinforce our system for their full load.
Currently there are no provisions for this scenario in the Electric Tariff agreements, which means individual customer agreements are required, but completing those is also a lengthy process.
To address this, we’re developing an interim transmission service interconnection agreement which we’ll file with the BCUC in early 2023.
With your input, we recently undertook rate design processes for the rates below and submitted them to the regulator, the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC).
On July 28, 2023, we submitted an application to the BCUC for interim approval of updated rates for public electric vehicle charging. The application also seeks approval of rates for additional charging power levels, for energy-based rates once regulation and technology allows, and the introduction of an extended stay charge to encourage turnover at charging stations. Our public electric vehicle charging service rate application and network expansion plans are in response to previous decisions by the BCUC and incorporates feedback we've heard from our customers.
The BCUC did not approve the interim rates we applied for and instead has initiated an expedited review process. They invite public feedback on our application.
On March 16, 2023, we submitted an application to the BCUC for approval of a new default rate schedule for transmission service, Rate Schedule 1830, which would apply to our largest industrial customers. The proposed default rate will transition the current stepped rate structure to a flat rate over a three-year period, helping to remove a barrier to electrification.
The proposal incorporates feedback from customers and stakeholders and improves alignment with our costs. As part of the application, we're also seeking approval for other changes to optional transmission service rates that are related to the default rate.
The application is subject to approval by the BCUC, which will undertake an open and transparent review process. On April 4, 2023 the BCUC issued Order G-77-23 which sets out the Regulatory Timetable for the proceeding.
- Public Notice – The BCUC wants to hear from you [PDF, 181 KB]
On February 27, 2023, we submitted an application to the BCUC for an optional time-of-use rate for residential customers. Customers can receive a credit for electricity used overnight (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.) and an extra charge for electricity used during the on-peak period (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.), which is when there's the most demand on our electricity system. The optional rate would be layered onto a customer's existing residential rate. For most customers, this is the existing two-step rate structure.
Residential customers could save money on this rate structure if they can shift some of their consumption during the on-peak period to other hours of the day, particularly electric vehicle drivers. Learn more about this residential rate design.
Pricing principles govern how annual general rate increases or decreases are applied to our rates. Our Residential Service Rate (Rate Schedule 1101) includes three charges: the daily Basic Charge, the Step 1 Energy Charge and the higher Step 2 Energy Charge.
On March 8, 2023, we submitted a residential rate pricing principles application to the BCUC to apply any April 1, 2023 general rate increase arising from the Fiscal 2023 to 2025 Revenue Requirements Application evenly across the three charges.
- Public Notice – the BCUC wants to hear from you [PDF, 194 KB]