White electric car charging station sign

A proposal by BC Hydro to increase public EV charging fees has been rejected by its regulator, BC Utilities Commission (BCUC).

The power provider was looking for a 15 per cent increase in rates, starting September 1. BC Hydro currently charges per minute instead of by kWh, at rates between 12 cents to 27 cents depending on the charger. It wanted the increase to cover the costs of EV charger installations in the province.

BC Utilities Commision released a statement saying it denied the increase 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.”

While BC Hydro had proposed charging by kWh, the regulator said it did not get special dispensation from Measurements Canada to do so.

Despite the denial of the proposal, EV charging rates may at some point go up in the province. BCUC does recognize that “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.”

As such, it has started a streamlined review process of the proposal and is inviting public participation. If you’re a BC resident, you can have your say here.

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