Change in BCUC regulations Great for EV Charging Infrastructure

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Last week we received excellent news; an update about the inquiry into the regulation of Electric Vehicle Charging, currently under review by the British Columbia Utilities Commission. This inquiry was established last January and has received a great deal of interest from the Electric Vehicle industry in BC.

The inquiry was set up to review the regulation surrounding EV charging services in our province, explore potential issues and finally establishing a regulatory framework for private entities offering EV charging as a service.

BCUC Press Release – Friday March 22nd.

“The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has received approval from the Honorable Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, to make electric vehicle (EV) charging service providers who are not otherwise public utilities, as well as landlords and strata corporations, exempt from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, other than sections 25 and 38 which pertain to safety. This approval has been outlined in Ministerial Order No. M104.”

Why this is important for Private Sector EV Charging Service Providers?

Prior to this ruling, the BCUC regulated the resale of electricity. This meant that only organizations that were classified as public utilities were legally allowed to sell electricity to the general public. If you fell into the public utility category (this included BC Hydro, Fortis BC, New West Energy, Lonsdale Energy and Municipal Governments) you were able to install EV charging stations and a tariff for use. In many cases, this allowed adequate cost recovery for energy and equipment installation.

If you were not considered a public utility and installed an EV charging station on your property, you were not allowed to charge the public for energy dispensed. This is one of the reasons that public EV charging in our region has been predominately free.

This ruling has opened up the market to private EV charging service providers, and created an incentive for them to install charging infrastructure and cover the costs of energy and equipment.

This is a huge bonus for the EV driving public as we are going to see a massive charging infrastructure boom in our province.

Why this is important for Strata Corporations offering EV Charging Services?

British Columbia has seen rapid adoption of electric vehicles since the mass-market introduction in 2011. Electric vehicle registrations in the Province have risen from 18 vehicles in 2011 to over 10,000 vehicles in 2019.

Although the growth rate is rapid, research shows barriers to EV uptake in dense urban areas, such as the Metro Vancouver region. A study conducted by Simon Fraser University in 2013 found that the majority of current EV owners reside in single-family dwellings and EV ownership was significantly underrepresented in residents of apartments and attached dwellings. The reason for the low level of EV uptake in multi-family dwellings is the difficulty of accessing home charging.

Installing EV infrastructure in Multi-Unit Residential Building (MURB) is mostly complex and can be expensive. Until now, Stratas paying for EV charging infrastructure had to invest thousands of dollars, only to have little or no means to recover costs for the equipment or energy. In recent years there were provincial incentives offered for installing chargers in MURBS, these programs have been continually waitlisted due to the immense demand from the public.

These new regulations will allow strata the opportunity to charge fees for EV charger use or allow private EV charging service providers to install equipment on their properties without incurring the installation overheads. This has huge benefits for all parties involved, think about how easy Shaw and Telus are able to setup, bill and troubleshoot service in condo buildings. Now imagine if private service providers offered EV charging in common parkade areas, that could be setup just as easily and cost effectively.

The change in regulations means that there will be more EV charging infrastructure in condo buildings and this will aid the adoption of electric vehicles for people in these dwelling types.

If you want to learn more about electric vehicles or setting up EV charging in your home, commercial property or strata building, call Cielo Electric and we can provide a simple solution to get you on the road with a full charge.

Call 778-862-4109 or visit www.cieloelectric.ca for more information

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