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BC Hydro step 2 rates

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Hugh Mannity, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Have any of you BC folk spoken/written to BC Hydro about Step 2 rates and your electric vehicle? I did a search on the forum here and didn't find anything.

    I get that step 2 rates are designed to encourage a greener attitude by minimising your hydro consumption.

    Ironically those of us with electric vehicles who may be more likely to live greener anyway, (i.e. have installed LED lighting and energy efficient appliances), have higher than average consumption due to the vehicle and are being "penalised" by the step 2 rate increase.

    I'm curious if anyone has spoken to hydro about this for a potential relaxation in this policy if you have an electric vehicle(s)?

    Thanks, Chris, umm I mean Hugh ;)
     
    • Like x 3
  2. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    I haven't but it's a good idea. There are vague statements on BC Hydro's site about EV rates possibly coming but for a start it would be nice not to be charged like an energy hog for having an electric car.
     
  3. Shorty

    Shorty Member

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    I find the running a fridge and the smart meter itself are enough to trigger the step 2 rates!
     
  4. cmt489

    cmt489 Member

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    Sad but true. I could only stay within Step 1 when I lived in a condo that had a gas range with heat and hot water part of the strata fees. We have never been below since living in our house despite LED and energy star everything. Truth be told, I have almost stopped trying because I could never get ahead and this was before an electric car.
     
  5. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Oh interesting! Thanks you guys, am new to BC and haven't lived here pre EV ;)
     
  6. KF94563

    KF94563 Member

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    Out of interest, what's the price difference between steps? Here in Northern California, our time of day EV plans get as low as .12 per kWh, but only for the off peak hours. Peak usage, or the high tier based on monthly usage, gets up to .45 kWh. I'll bet BC hydro's tiers are a better deal...
     
  7. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    A big 4 cents. $0.08 to $0.12 per kWh. And it's 98% hydroelectric. I'd like all low tier but it's not torch and pitchfork time, we have it pretty good.
     
    • Informative x 1
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  8. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I'll say you do! Tier one in SoCal Edison territory is about $0.16/kWh and tier 2 runs something like $0.19. At something like 13 kWh per day you hit tier 3 at $0.25 or more, then tier 4 is $0.31 IIRC.
     
  9. KF94563

    KF94563 Member

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    We wish we had rates that good. Of course, you also have plenty of rain for that hydro power and our drought is another sore topic.
     
  10. Shorty

    Shorty Member

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    And our $.08 and $.12 are in Canadian dollars :)
     
  11. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    I wasn't going to point that out, seemed cruel :p
     
  12. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Ahhh come on where's your spirit? Vancouver hasn't had a good old fashioned burn em at the stake riot in quite awhile.
     
  13. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    True, you must have seen the sign downtown that says, "It's been 2000 days since our last riot".
     
  14. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    I've also been a bit worried about paying a lot more on my hydro bill at the higher Step 2 rate with additional power consumption ever since getting my Model S. Since I took delivery of my 70D at beginning of Dec 2015, I've now had just over a full year of driving electric under my belt, so I thought I'd take a look at the past two years of my electric bill and do a quick comparison...

    BTW, the current BC Hydro residential rates are: Step 1 $0.0829/kWh, Step 2 $0.1243/kWh.
    Step 1 rates apply for the first 1,350 kWh in a 2 month billing period. Step 2 rates apply to any kWh usage above that.
    (Sometime around mid 2016, there was a rate increase, IIRC it was about a 4% increase).

    Comparing 2015 (i.e. pre-Tesla) and 2016 (post-Tesla), my hydro bills show a a total increase of ~ 850kWh consumption for the year (about 10% increase 2016 over 2015). that's an average increase of ~ 71kWh/month. I don't have a separate meter on my car, so there's no way for me to tell how much of this increase is attributed to EV charging (let's assume all of it)

    The actual billing amount increase between the 2 years was about $129. That would have bought me maybe a tank and a half of gas for my old V6 Audi. Meanwhile in that 1 year I drove my 70D about 14,000km - although that includes a 3500km Supercharged-road trip to CA and back, plus a handful of much shorter Supercharged road trips. I should also add that I only have 120V charging at home, so therefore I might supplement home charging periodically at one of the many free public L2 chargers somewhere around town. And yes, I know that charging at 120V is less efficient than at 240V...

    Looking at the effect ot Step 2 rates... with or without a Tesla, it seems my hydro bill would have hit the Step 2 threshold regardless about 8 months of the year. Yes, I've converted most of the lights at home to LED already. But buying a Tesla itself didn't seem to bump it over the threshold any more months than before. Pre-Tesla my annual kWh consumption was split at about 94% at Step 1 rate / 6% Step 2. In 2016, that ratio changed to about 87% / 13%. Based on overall billed amount & consumption, my average annual electric rate calculates out to about $0.088 / kWh in 2015, vs about $0.094 in 2016. Lower than I thought it would be.

    Now that I've looked at the numbers I'm actually surprised I didn't take a bigger hit with Step 2 rates, or get bumped over the Step 2 threshold in more months. My low typical daily driving mileage helped keep costs down, as did supplementing with occasional free public charging around town. As others have already said, we're pretty lucky here in BC with an abundance of cheap hydroelectric power - I can't complain being able to drive such an amazing car for only $10.75/month in "fuel". And I'd certainly not complain either if BC Hydro gave EV owners a bit of a break on Step 2 rates...
     
    • Informative x 2
  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I pay 9 cents a kWh for coal sourced electricity. I would love to pay 12 cents a kWh for clean energy.

    Out of curiousity, how are homes heated in BC ?
     
  16. Doubletap67

    Doubletap67 Member

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    I have a heat pump and natural gas furnace for supplemental heating. The natural gas part is common in BC.
     
  17. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    yeah our house is heated with natural gas, both the furnace and hot water tank. Also have a gas stove.
     
  18. Loden Hotel

    Loden Hotel Member

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    f-stop, thank you for sharing this helpful information...

     
  19. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    f-stop, indeed great write up thank you!

    FYI my home is half and half heat. Gas furnace for basement and main floor and baseboard only for upstairs, weird have never seen that setup before. I'm new to the west coast though, lived in cold, snowy the rest of Canada in my previous life. It was always gas central heating.
     
  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Yet another good reason to move to Vancouver :)
     

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