A chart provided by BC Hydro suggests it should cost $86.83 per month ($1042 a year) to charge an electric vehicle doing a five-day-a-week round trip commute from Chilliwack to Vancouver. (BC Hydro graphic)

A chart provided by BC Hydro suggests it should cost $86.83 per month ($1042 a year) to charge an electric vehicle doing a five-day-a-week round trip commute from Chilliwack to Vancouver. (BC Hydro graphic)

Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

A Rosedale man thought he was doing his part to help the environment and fight global warming when he bought a Chevy Bolt.

But his latest BC Hydro bill has Brian Chwiendacz questioning his decision.

Chwiendacz was shocked to see a charge of $287.86 after paying $89.05 and $90.87 on his two previous bills.

“We charge the car at home and use our electricity,” he said. “But we were never told, ‘Oh thank you for going green, but the government will now make you pay for that.’ How does this make sense?”

Chwiendacz says he has followed BC Hydro’s recommendation to charge between 11 p.m. and midnight.

BC Hydro introduced a two-step residential conservation rate in October of 2018, incentivizing customers to turn off lights and take other steps to reduce their power usage.

• RELATED: Businesses, non-profits can apply for electric vehicle rebates in B.C.

• RELATED: Electric car sales climb in wake of new $5,000 federal rebate program

In Chwiendacz’s case, he was charged $130.03 at the step one rate of $0.0945/kilowatt-hours, and another $130.65 when car charging bumped him up to the step two rate of $0.1417/kilowatt-hours.

“I called the BC Hydro number and talked to one of their representatives while I had the BC Hydro web site open on my computer,” he said. “After we talked for a bit he told me that he agreed that we should not have to pay the higher rate because of the electric vehicle being charged.”

BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott said Chwiendacz’s experience of a dramatic spike is not a common one, but an increase on the electrical bill should be expected when an electrical vehicle is purchased. She said that’s usually more than offset by not needing to fuel up a vehicle.

“Most electrical vehicle (EV) drivers make the switch because our electricity is clean and they save a lot in fuel costs,” she noted. “Charging at home is about 75 per cent cheaper than gas. For example, a Nissan Leaf can travel 100 kilometres for just $2 in electricity costs – a tiny fraction of what it would cost to drive an equivalent gas-powered car the same distance.

“We’re also looking at future rate options for EV drivers that could include off-peak (overnight) charging. This could be at a lower rate to encourage more British Columbians to make the switch to driving an EV.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BCHydrochilliwackElectric vehicles

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police barricade (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey RCMP investigate shooting overnight at Whalley motel

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said a 38-year-old man was taken to hospital suffering from a serious injury

The South Point Exchange Wendy’s location was ordered closed for 10 days due to COVID-19. The closure took effect on April 9, 2021. (Google Streetview screenshot)
COVID-19 prompts 10-day closure of South Surrey fast-food restaurant

Fraser Health confirms order for South Point Wendy’s was issued April 9

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

DriveBC says a vehicle incident could cause some delays on Highway 1 near 152nd Street heading westbound Thursday morning (April 15). (Map: Google Maps)
Part of HOV lane blocked on Highway 1 in Surrey

DriveBC tweets westbound lane near 152nd Street is blocked

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Most Read