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

Lieut. Orphée Bernard takes a twirl on his Movember moustache as Lieut. Jeff Allan, back left, firefighters Andrew Mills and Layne Polnick and Capt. Troy Libbus display an oversized cheque showing the amount of cash raised from the profits of custom-embroidered T-shirt sales. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo firefighters raise moustache cash

Firefighters support Movember Canada through T-shirt sale fundraiser

Patricia Kent, 25, was reported missing over the weekend, as her family has been unable to reach her, say police. (Photo submitted)
RCMP ask for help locating missing Nanaimo woman

Patricia Kent, 25, has not been seen nor heard from since Saturday, say police

An man from Errington died when his ATV went over an embankment on Northwest Bay Logging Road on the weekend. (File photo)
Man dies in ATV crash northwest of Nanaimo

Incident happened on Northwest Bay Logging Road on Saturday afternoon

Volunteers plant trees earlier this month as part of a City of Nanaimo initiative. (City of Nanaimo photo)
City holds ‘relay’ to plant 600 trees and shrubs in Nanaimo

Trees were planted along Chase River and at Third Street Park

Vancouver Island University organizations are raising awareness about gender-based violence during 16 Days of Activism, which includes the Red Dress Project hosted by VIUSU that aims to honour the memory of Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. (Vancouver Island University photo)
City proclamation calls on Nanaimo to unite to end violence against women

16 Days of Activism campaign started Nov. 25, continues to Dec. 10

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Three Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteers have tested positive for COVID-19. (Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary photo)
Three Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteers test positive for COVID-19

Anyone who volunteered at Thrift Store between Nov. 14-Nov. 28 is asked to monitor for symptoms

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Most Read