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

Bhagwan Mayer. (Photo submitted)
Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

Paula Foot narrates a collection of stories to appeal to the imaginations of the young and young at heart with a new album​ ‘Moments with Miss Paula: Stories for Fall and Winter’. (Submitted)
New album of stories from Cowichan storyteller offers children a world of magic

The stories will appeal to six-, seven-, and eight-year-olds

The VIJHL's Kerry Park Islanders' games have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Isles victorious before league shutdown

The Kerry Park Islanders were able to sneak in one last game… Continue reading

Lake Cowichan’s Oliver Finlayson, second from left, and his family — including grandma Marnie Mattice, sister Avery, mom Amie Mattice and dad Blair Finlayson — were all smiles on Nov. 16 when their pool arrived, thanks to lots of fundraising and the generosity of the Cowichan Lake community. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Lake community comes together to help family get vital pool

Oliver Finlayson, 9, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hydrotherapy is a big help

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

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: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

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

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read