BCUC Recommends Deregulation for EV Charging Stations
Updated on February 10th, 2021
The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has released a report today recommending landlords and stratas with electric vehicle charging stations in BC to be exempt from regulation.
This report comes after a 10-month deliberation with various stakeholders, ranging from EV owners, EV manufacturers, charging station providers, potential EV owners, electrical utilities, provincial government representatives, electrical ratepayer organizations, and municipal government representatives.
The BCUC came to these conclusions:
The Commission found that there were no dangers of landlords and strata corporations exhibiting monopoly characteristics by providing publish EV charging stations. Further, due to the broad definition of “compensation” found in the Utilities Commission Act, most EV charging stations may be considered public utilities. Finally, the Commission found that economic regulation is not required for any aspect of the EV market.
While BCUC does recommend an exemption to regulating the electrical service prices, they will retain an oversight on electric vehicle charging safety.
This is a great recommendation, as civil society groups such as the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA) have spoken about how deregulation “allows for an open and competitive market as the best means to achieve the necessary scale of charging infrastructure within a timeframe that reflects the rapidly accelerating pace of adoption of EV (source)”. By deregulating, we allow for more competition in providing EV chargers in BC, with lower barriers to either enter or exit.
Deregulation is the best means for an open and competitive market to see more EV chargers throughout BC.
Community Energy Association (CEA), another civil society group, has found that currently, “EV owners who have a practical or operational need for [electric vehicle charging] ARE captive to the BC Hydro and FortisBC networks regionally as there are currently few other owners/operators (source)”, which are based around the current regulations imposed on EV charging stations.
Some people may believe that deregulation is dangerous, but at the moment, it is exactly because we have regulations that limit the prevalence of EV chargers in BC, as “not having a blanket exemption for charging… stations is currently hindering adoption of EV chargers in some sectors, such as strata corporations” (source). With deregulation, low barriers for new EV providers, as well as rapid adoption of EV chargers, we can increase the adoption of EV capable vehicles, reducing our carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels.
Current regulations are slowing adoption of EV chargers in sectors like stratas corporations.
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