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LETTER: BC Hydro optional rate carries economic shock

People won't be cooking dinner and doing laundry at 2 a.m.
(Black Press Media file photo)

BC Hydro has announced a new optional residential rate plan starting in June 2024.

The main features are: a discount of five cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity used overnight (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.); a surcharge of five cents per kWh for electricity used during the on-peak period (4 to 9 p.m.). No discount or surcharge applies to usage during the off-peak period (7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m.).
Time-of-day pricing applies year-round and every day of the week.

The normal rate for usage (step 1) is $0.1079/kWh. Thus the option implies a surcharge of about 46% during the peak hours, and a similar decrease during the wee hours.

Hydro is aiming this option at people who may charge electric vehicles (EVs) overnight and/or might run major appliances at night. For everyone else, the new option is absurd. Why should anyone who works normal hours wish to pay 46% more during the usual time to heat/cool the house, cook dinner, have a shower, etc.? For people who live in multiple-unit buildings, there are very likely restrictions against doing laundry, running a dishwasher, etc. during the overnight hours.

I for one will not be taking this option, and I sincerely hope that BC Hydro does not eventually intend to impose this new format on all customers.

Roel Hurkens