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Shift and save: BC Hydro launches optional time-of-day rate to help customers save money

BC Hydro
By BC Hydro
June 5th, 2024

BC Hydro has launched its optional time-of-day rate to provide customers with more choice in how they pay for electricity use.

The new optional rate was approved by the BC Utilities Commission in December 2023. It offers residential customers with the option to pay lower rates if they shift their electricity use to periods when demand for electricity is lower and there is more system capacity. Customers who voluntarily sign up for this option can save money by shifting their energy-intensive activities to off-peak hours.

“With costs rising across the country due to global inflation and high interest rates, it’s more important than ever for us keep the cost of electricity down and help British Columbians save on their energy bills,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “That’s why we are working with BC Hydro to provide households a new, optional time-of-day rate, providing a way to save money on their energy bills while supporting the switch to clean energy.”

Participating customers will receive a 5-cent discount for each kilowatt hour of electricity consumed during overnight periods (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.), and a 5-cent surcharge for each kilowatt hour of electricity consumed during the on-peak period (4 to 9 p.m.). The rates for the remaining hours of the day will stay the same. BC Hydro has acknowledged that this option may not be right for everyone, which is why the choice is completely optional and customers can opt in or out without penalty.

“We know the way our customers are using electricity is changing,” said Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “We engaged with over 35,000 customers and stakeholders, and the message was clear that many would like more choices, an option to save money and to reduce their impact on climate change by using more clean electricity in a smart way. That is exactly what this rate optional time-of-day rate was designed to help do.”

The amount of potential savings for customers depends on their individual circumstances. The more they shift the more they can save. For example, customers with an electric vehicle could save up to $125 per year by enrolling in this rate and charging their electric vehicle overnight. If a customer typically does two loads of laundry per week at around 7 p.m., by starting those two loads between 9 and 11 p.m. this customer could save up to $25 per year.

Customers can sign up using their online BC Hydro account and use BC Hydro’s new rate estimator tool, which uses their electricity use data to determine if they could save money by switching to this new rate option at bchydro.com/myhydro.

Categories: General

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