BRITISH COLUMBIA – Today, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) denied BC Hydro’s proposed new interim rates for Public Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Service and established a Streamlined Review Process (SRP) to expedite its review of BC Hydro’s application. Current rates for EV charging service at BC Hydro fast charging stations remain in effect on an interim basis pending the outcome of the BCUC’s review.
BC Hydro filed its Public EV Charging Service Rates Application with the BCUC on July 28, 2023. In its application, BC Hydro requested its current rates be rescinded and replaced by new interim rates, effective September 1, 2023, amongst other items.
The BCUC has denied BC Hydro’s new interim rates because the proposed rates are materially different than the current rates. BC Hydro’s application introduced rates for charger power level intervals rather than set power levels, new rates for level 2 charging, and a new extended stay charge.
Further, in its application, BC Hydro sought BCUC approval for interim energy-based rates, however, until recently, there was no way to bill EV charging service in Canada based on energy usage. Earlier this year, Measurement Canada implemented a temporary dispensation program with certain requirements for EV charging station owners who wish to use energy-based rates at their locations. The BCUC had previously directed BC Hydro and FortisBC Inc. to seek a temporary dispensation from Measurement Canada so they could have the option of implementing energy-based rates for EV fast charging service. At this time, BC Hydro has not yet obtained the necessary permission from Measurement Canada to charge energy-based rates, so the proposed interim rates are premature.
Finally, BC Hydro is unclear in its application about how it would refund or recover the difference between the existing and proposed new interim rates.
The BCUC recognizes that the current interim rates do not recover BC Hydro’s full cost of providing EV charging service, a consideration which may result in a larger rate increase as time passes. Given this, the BCUC has established an SRP to expedite its review of BC Hydro’s application and is inviting public participation in the process.
There are several ways to get involved, or stay informed, of proceeding updates:
Subscribe to the Proceeding – To receive email notifications when information is added to the proceeding webpage.
Submit a Letter of Comment – To share your views, opinions and insights about the application with the BCUC.
Request Intervener Status – By September 7, 2023, to actively participate in this proceeding. Interveners participate actively, responsibly, and respectfully for the duration of the proceeding to help ensure various perspectives are represented.
Business Examiner Submitted