The British Columbia Utilities Commission has given BC Hydro the greenlight to launch its optional “time-of-day” billing system.
The new type of pricing offers discounts on electricity prices during off-peak hours, but adds a similar surcharge for using power during peak hours.
For example, people who sign up for the time-of-day pricing will get a five cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) discount for electricity used overnight, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. – while a 5 cent surcharge will be added per kWh for electricity used during peak hours – between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
No surcharge or discount would be in effect during other periods of the day, between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The new rate plan is completely optional, with residents opting in to the program if they want to.
BC Hydro says the new payment system could be a good option for people looking to save on power costs – by taking steps like charging electric vehicles overnight or running a dishwasher during off-peak hours.
“This plan is designed to help encourage customers to shift their electricity use to periods when demand for electricity is lower and there’s more system capacity by offering a lower price for electricity used during these times,” reads the BC Hydro website.
BC Hydro applied to the British Columbia Utilities Commission to launch this new payment system in February. On Dec. 12, the BCUC approved its review of BC Hydro’s application.
No firm start date for the new billing plan has been announced yet, but BC Hydro says it could begin “as early as June 2024.”