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

School District 42’s Energy Cup runs from April 6 to 30. (SD 42 photo)
Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows students take on month-long energy conservation challenge

Sixth annual Energy Cup sees district’s elementary schools compete against one another

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

Ethan Andrews (left) and his aunt Shihana Wewala were two of the volunteers planting trees with Pitt Meadows parks workers in Bonson Park. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Pitt Meadows families plant trees for Earth Day

Popular city event sees beautification of Bonson Park

Stu Burgess is operations manager for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks. (The News files)
Golden Ears park camping to be limited to those in local health region

Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health now considered one region

Police respond to a reported stabbbing near Fletcher Park in Maple Ridge on Wednesday afternoon. (Ronan O’Doherty/The News)
UPDATE: Stabbing reported in downtown Maple Ridge

Police and ambulance respond to home invasion near Fletcher Park

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Willoughby condo fire at 208th Street and 80th Avenue on April 19, 2021. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: the aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

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

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

So far, 15 gang-related killings have occurred across Metro Vancouver in 2021. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Police report 15 gang-linked killings in Metro Vancouver in 2021 as tensions escalate

The situation has flared up again, as tensions dating back to 2008 between the UN gang and rivals including the Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and the Wolf Pack escalate

Most Read