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EV charging program: renewed funding, condos and plug-ins

Image of a Nissan Leaf connected to a fast charger
Rebates for the purchase and installation of Level 2 electric vehicle chargers at homes, condos, and workplaces – for use by employees only – have been extended by the BC Government.

Watch for an upcoming webinar to address questions on incentives and installations

The Province of BC has renewed funding for the Clean BC EV Charger Rebate Program for homes and workplaces. The new program sets aside up to $5 million in funding – from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 or when funding runs out, whichever comes first.

The appetite among Alliance members for information about the installation of electric vehicle chargers continues to grow. While a lot of ground was covered in last November's EV webinar – the most popular Alliance webinar in recent years – we're hosting another webinar on March 24.

The perfect storm of growing customer interest in EVs and rebates for the cost and installation of Level 2 chargers is driving a lot of business for Alliance members. Funded by the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources – and administered by BC Hydro and Fortis BC – the rebates make it more affordable for residents, condo managers, strata councils, and businesses to add Level 2 charging.

"I feel for my colleagues, just in terms of the number of inquiries and rebate applications we have received," said Malcolm Wheeler, who handles EV industry communications and program support for BC Hydro. "It's a major priority for us and the industry interest is still really strong."

A lot of those questions around rebates will be answered in detail in the upcoming webinar. For now, here's a summary of the major program changes and the most common questions being asked.

Rebates for single-family homes, including townhomes and duplexes

Effective September 26, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Rebates of up to 50% off the purchase and installation costs are available for eligible new Level 2 charging equipment, to a maximum of $350 per approved charging station. For a limited time, BC Hydro is providing a top-up to the provincial offer for single-family homes, allowing you to get up to a $700 rebate for the purchase and installation of an eligible EV charger.

Effective April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021

Rebates of up to 50% of purchase and installation costs are available for eligible new Level 2 charging equipment, to a maximum of $350 per approved charging station.

Rebates for apartments and condos

Effective September 26, 2019 – February 18, 2020

Rebates of up to 50% off the purchase and installation costs are available for eligible new Level 2 charging stations or energized outlets to a maximum of $14,000 (no more than $2,000 per station).

Effective February 18, 2020 – March 31, 2021

Rebates of up to 50% of purchase and installation costs are available for:

  • Eligible new Level 2 charging stations to a maximum of $14,000 (no more than $2,000 per station).
  • Energized outlets to a maximum of $14,000 (no more than $1,000 per outlet).

The single-family home rebate is about to move from a maximum of $700 back to $350

BC Hydro's limited time additional funding to the provincial EV Charger Rebate program for single-family homes will end March 31, 2020 or when funding runs out, whichever comes first.

That means that if customers want to cash in on potentially doubling the rebate to a maximum of $700, they'll need to get a charger installed now. Only after the charger is installed can you apply for the single-family home charger rebates, which offer up to 50% rebate on purchase and installation costs up to a maximum of $700 when the BC Hydro additional funding is included.

Once the BC Hydro limited time offer ends, the rebate will be back to the $350 maximum. Learn more about the home charger rebate, including the importance of purchasing a charger on the approved list, at bchydro.com's EV charger rebate page.

Electrical work for plug-in charger installations now included

For those homes installing plug-in chargers, electrical work is now eligible as part of the rebate.

"The requirement around plug-in installations has been expanded to allow the electrical work required to be accepted as part of the rebate," said Wheeler. "But we'd like to hammer home the fact that for the plug-in charger to be accepted, it needs to be on the list of qualified chargers."

Wheeler said that there are a number of plug-in chargers that don't meet the program's standards around safety and quality. You can check the list, which is updated monthly, on the eligible charger list [PDF], and get details about the workplace and apartment program.

Outlet-only installation at apartments/condos now qualifies at a lower rebate amount

One exception to the usual "purchase and installation" requirement is funding for the installation of energized 240-volt outlets for future use with chargers. The funding amount is changing from a maximum of $2,000 to a maximum of $1,000 per outlet (for apartments and stratas, only for buildings constructed prior to municipal bylaws requiring charging outlets).

Alliance members with specific training and expertise are landing the big, multi-station projects

Developed expertise in EV charging installation is paying off for firms who are going the extra mile to become experts. So while training in the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) isn't a necessity for single-family home installations, it's recommended for contractors working on larger projects.

"We do recommend that every contractor has completed that type of training, especially on the apartment/condo or workplace side," said Wheeler. "These projects tend to be larger and complex, and the dollars are bigger. And as far as I know, the EVITP is still the only non-vendor-specific training available in Canada."

Check back at this courses page for future EVITP training in B.C.

Webinar will help make sense of it all

We understand this is a lot of information to process, so we invite you to attend our upcoming webinar on March 24, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Register – March 24, 2020 webinar