Increase overnight rates for energy consumption in offices
Every night thousands of lights, computers, printers and other office equipment are left on needlessly in empty office buildings across the city.
By imposing a tariff on this sort of waste, business might be forced to evaluate their policies and work to reduce energy waste.
Of course, some equipment must be left on – servers, refrigerators etc. – so the tariff would need to scale and offer exemptions for critical equipment.
BC Hydro estimate that 40% of employees in B.C. leave their computers on after working hours and this wastes 500 gigawatt-hours of electricity (http://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/technology_tips/managing_energy_costs/computer_power_management.html?WT.mc_id=b-10-08_computers)
BC Hydro and other energy utilities make rate proposals to the BC Utilities Commission who are the regulator for energy rates. For more info check out: www.bcuc.com
TM Vcr commented
A good idea, but impossible for the City of Vancouver alone to implement. Vancouver residents procure their power from BC Hydro, and the City grid cannot easibly be differentiated from the rest of the Lower Mainland grid.
Plus, time of use rates are best applied in thermal or nuke-based power systems, where there is little ability to increase beyond a certain ceiling, and where power plants are not easy to "turn down" or up. One benefit of being on a predominantly hydro-based system is that it is almost "instant on"; open the penstocks, the water flows into the turbines, and power is generated.
I totally agree. So often I see all the lights left on in stores and office buildings. There frequently are cleaning staff there at night, but they don't need every single light on to get the job done!
Janna L. Sylvest commented
Bravo for an innovative, unique idea. BC Hydro already has different rates: commercial, residential, and rates for use above a set ceiling. Adding a rate for night time use is grounded in fairness, as the route to lowering costs is simple: turn off equipment and lights that are not in fact in use. I'd go one further, and impose this overnight rate on residential and commercial. Even with electric heat, lowering your power consumption at night requires adding a blanket and a pair of flannel sheets in the winter, in place of cranking the thermostat, and most homes run DVD, personal computers, appliances such as Microwave and stove clocks, and numerous other electrical consumers over night when they are not required and not in active use.