The City of Duncan is introducing user fees at its four electric-vehicle charging stations for the first time.
At the council meeting on Aug. 15, it was decided that the user fees for the EV charging stations, located at 341 Trans-Canada Hwy., the parking lot at 225 Canada Ave. and two stations at 330 Duncan St., will be $1 per hour for the first three hours and $2 per hour thereafter.
Bernice Crossman, Duncan’s director of finance, said the city pays the hydro bill for charging stations and it has not been very high in the past.
But she said the hydro bill is getting more expensive.
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“The projected costs for the electricity for the stations in 2022 is over $7,000, while our budget for the year is $4,000,” Crossman said.
“The [user fee] is fairly minimal but it will help cover the costs of the electricity we’re providing.”
Crossman said that, based on the history of customer usage at the stations, the new fee structure could generate approximately $12,000 to $15,000 in revenues per year from the existing charging stations.
“This would help offset the current and future costs of providing this service to owners of electric vehicles, while also supplying a contingency for unexpected repairs and future equipment replacement,” she said.
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The city’s budget for 2022 has funds to install two or three more charging stations in Duncan at locations yet to be determined, and staff are currently working out details on that project.
Crossman also pointed out that the usage of the charging stations has increased, and the city has been experiencing complaints of vehicles remaining in the charging stall for multiple hours.
“A time-based fee will encourage users to move their vehicle once they have completed charging,” she said.
Coun. Carol Newington said she thinks installing a user fee for the stations is a good idea.
“I have lots of friends with electric cars and one of the complaints that they have when they come downtown is that the same cars are sitting at the stations all day,” she said.
“So, hopefully, this will assist in moving them along and allowing somebody else to have the opportunity.”