Fee for interconnection to electricity production and generation systems consultation 2019 verbatim feedback

Verbatim feedback

Includes all comments submitted as of August 17, 2018.

Comments have been posted and moderated as per Technical Safety BC’s Content Submission Guidelines

Number of comments: 58

Date of submission

Respondent type

Support for proposed fee categories

Specifications for equipment types

Comments

Aug 17, 2018 at 10.39 PM   Somewhat

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

Type of end use

I think the fee should be delineated by system capacity , storage ,grid tied or not
Aug 17, 2018 at 9.32 PM Renewable Energy Installer Somewhat  Amount of energy produced or stored

It seems reasonable but we can ask for lower.

Would like to see a lower basic fee for small systems and fees could increase for bigger systems.

Aug 17, 2018 at 2.58 PM Building owner or manager Somewhat

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

It would be important to ensure that small standalone systems are exempt. On a large property there could be multiple small standalone systems used to power water pumps etc. However, I found the inspector to be very helpful in setting up the primary system powering my shop. There are many additional upstream components that are not included in a grid connected power source.
Aug 16, 2018 at 8.35 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

If this for adding to an existing permitted installation. As this is basically just adding 1 more circuit.
Aug 16, 2018 at 2.52 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes

Size rating of equipment installed

Other

As a provider of energy production services, these changes would help support the adoption of the technology by making it more economical.

I had previously thought an easy fix would be to adjust the language in the "contractor installation permits - Other" to read "Permit fees in this category are based on the total price paid by the client, excluding GST, for the project including all labour and materials, from any source, but excluding utilization AND/OR PRODUCTION equipment such as fixtures, heaters, motors, furnaces, heat pumps, SOLAR PANELS, HYDRO GENERATORS etc...."

Aug 16, 2018 at 11.11 AM Renewable Energy Installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications Seems fair to have a flat rate.
Aug 15, 2018 at 9.19 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes Size rating of equipment installed The High capital costs production and storage system are a hard load to bare as it is with no Government incentive programs to the residential consumer and then to have this large permit fee base on equipment s costs when you are running a single 20amp circuit into an existing Consumer Electrical panel is overly excessive
Aug 15, 2018 at 4.40 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

A single fee for Solar Generation makes sense. It should not be based on total price because renewable energy should be encouraged. The price should be low and fixed as above.

I would very much like to see these fixed fee's apply to Solar Generators especially as it will give many BC residents and home owners an incentive to be part of the Net Metering Program..

Aug 15, 2018 at 4.25 PM Electrical Contractor No I do not think that there should be any specifications I agree with the categories but more fees will equal less projects and more underground projects.
Aug 15, 2018 at 2.48 PM Manufacturer or distributor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

The will enable the growth of these technologies deployment at the same time it aligns the fee with the work required.

These changes will help to create jobs in the renewable energy industry and avoid confusion around fee calculation from one area to the next.

Aug 14, 2018 at 9.20 AM Building owner or manager No I do not think that there should be any specifications It is still more money going into the coffers of unregulated government spending
Aug 13, 2018 at 9.29 AM   Somewhat I do not think that there should be any specifications Too much. a small fee is okay but not as much as what is being proposed
Aug 12, 2018 at 10.08 PM Electrical Contractor Somewhat Size rating of equipment installed

I don't understand completely what the permit covers.

I think at this time when dealing with alternative energy sources you should have more incentives to get this new industry established.

Aug 11, 2018 at 5.10 PM Other Yes Other

The existing fee structure doesn't take into account the relatively high cost of renewable energy generation equipment and storage equipment compared to distribution equipment and materials.

No.

Aug 10, 2018 at 6.37 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

A bit too expensive.

Thank you for considering reduction of permit fees for renewable energy

Aug 10, 2018 at 4.51 PM Electrical Contractor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

Always good to lower permit fees.

Not at this time

Aug 10, 2018 at 1.01 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes Size rating of equipment installed

This is good because it enables us to quote a project and have certainty of the fees. They are not outrageous fees and won't deter the use of solar or other renuables.

Thanks for making it easy to provide feedback. It would be nice to see general feedback from the survey.

Aug 10, 2018 at 12.26 PM Renewable Energy Installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

It will reduce the cost and encourage more green energy electrical generation in BC.

Great idea - hope it move ahead.

Aug 8, 2018 at 5.20 PM Electrical Contractor Somewhat Amount of energy produced or stored

The fee is reasonable for a new solar install as an inclusive fee. This should not be necessary as a separate fee for "service connection request" on an existing permit.

Keep the permit fees reasonable for "net-metering" installs because this type of infrastructure should be supported on a broad level.

Aug 7, 2018 at 3.09 PM Renewable energy installer Yes I don't think that there should be any specifications

A single fee for Solar Generation makes sense. It should not be based on total price because renewable energy should be encouraged. The price should be low and fixed as above.

I would very much like to see these fixed fee's apply to Solar Generators especially as it will give many BC residents and home owners an incentive to be part of the Net Metering Program..

Aug 7, 2018 at 8.26 AM Government No Other Added expense to an all ready expensive installation that is really very simple
Aug 5, 2018 at 12.07 PM Renewable energy installer Yes I don't think that there should be any specifications When determining permit cost for other electrical work, the cost of 'utilization equipment' is not included in the total value of the project. These systems are unfortunately not considering utilization equipment, and thus are not exempt from a permit cost "premium". Enacting these proposed changes would not only make the "game" more "fair" for consumers and contractors installing this equipment, but would also accelerate the adoption of these technologies.
Aug 4, 2018 at 2.46 PM Electrical Contractor Yes I don't think that there should be any specifications A flat rate fee for these types of systems is better because of the variability in costs of equipment from different manufacturers.
Aug 2, 2018 at 8.06 PM Electrical Contractor No

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

The fees are too low given they do not represent a significant enough percent of the overall installation costs and/or attendant risks due to various failure modes.

The fee structure must reflect a significant enough percent of the overall installation costs and/or attendant risks due to various failure modes so as to help ensure all safety and installation requirements are fully met.

Aug 2, 2018 at 10.17 AM Renewable Energy Installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

I support a level paying field for contractors and home owners, that will sustain fair market value and cover inspections and enforcement.

Renewable energy is a positive step towards preserving the environment, and as such should have a fee system that considers a lower cost of infrastructure while covering the cost of permitting and enforcement.

Aug 2, 2018 at 10.09 AM Other Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

Renewable energy equipment is expensive, cost based permitting on equipment adds excessive cost to the project

I feel this is a good initiative and will level the playing field for contractors and will reduce undervaluing system costs to save fees 

Aug 2, 2018 at 9.23 AM Electrical Contractor Yes Size rating of equipment installed Need more incentives for solar/greener power uses.
Aug 2, 2018 at 8.25 AM Electrical Contractor No Other

Why charge an annual fee? The systems were installed under permit. What purpose does having annual permits in place for residential small installations have? IT'S ANOTHER BCSA CASH GRAB. SHAMEFUL!!

It will force people who are not grid tied to build their systems without permits and Electrical Contractors in order to save money.

July 30, 2018 at 7.47 PM Electrical Contractor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications 

Renewable energy equipment and backup generators are much more expensive than the sort of fixtures electricians typically install in course of their work.  In nearly all cases the customer purchases that equipment independently--often prior to engaging the services of an electrician.  The electrician's job and responsibility is unrelated to the expense of the renewable energy or backup generator equipment and it never has made any sense that the permit fee should reflect those costs.

Technical Safety BC should avoid penalizing citizens who opt for renewable and reduced carbon energy systems. Likewise, backup generators are often matters of health and safety for homeowners and Technical Safety should not effectively tax people for purchasing them. Stick to monitoring the safety of the installation--which has a legitimate cost--but not charging a fee related to the cost of the generation equipment itself.

July 24, 2018 at 1.37 PM Renewable energy installer Somewhat Other

I support this because it is significantly less than we paid for our solar permit - which was almost $900 - or 10% of installation and also less than the current $650. It should be independent of kW. It should be a flat fee, which is what you are proposing Your proposed fee is still higher than other jurisdictions in Canada for a permit to net metering solar and does not provide an incentive. But I certainly prefer this to what we have. Why would there be a fee for a battery for electric vehicles? Also are you suggesting $172 flat fee for a permit for an electrical vehicle charging station. In that case it's too high as it is 17% of the charging station - which seems excessive.

It would lower the cost of a solar installation as the electrical permit is now way too high. It would be one small encouragement for solar, for which there are currently no incentives, and only disincentives, in BC and would bring BC more in line with other provinces in Canada.

July 16, 2018 at 5.23 PM Renewable energy installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications

Much more reasonable. Current fees are obscenely high considering the technical req's of the inspection process.

Let's make renewable energy happen. Costs are the primary impediment to growth right now.

July 16, 2018 at 2.33 PM Electrical contractor Somewhat

Amount of energy produced or stored

Type of end use

Flat fee for both types for simplicity
July 13, 2018 at 4.36 PM Building owner Somewhat I do not think that there should be any specifications In order to get informed comment on proposed fees from all interested parties you need to state what the existing fees are. I assume that the proposed fees are more reasonable than the current fees, and based on this I somewaht support the change
July 13, 2018 at 8.16 AM Electrical contractor No

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

I DO support the fee structure for the stand alone system. For the system included under a permit for other regulated work it would be near impossible the way the supplier side of the industry currently works to accurately determine how much to reduce the value of the 'other regulated work' to properly adjust for the lower permit adder for the System connection. The contractor would be unfairly assessed added permit fees for an application of this type
July 12, 2018 at 1.57 PM Electrical contractor Yes

Size rating of equipment installed

Amount of energy produced or stored

Reflects current market growth opportunities.

Reduced permit costs will be passed to our customer.

July 11, 2018 at 5.02 PM Renewable energy installer Somewhat Amount of energy produced or stored

It seems reasonable but we can ask for lower.

Would like to see a lower basic fee for small systems and fees could increase for bigger systems.

July 10, 2018 at 6.21 PM

Electrical contractor Somewhat

Size rating of equipment installed

Type of end use

I think that the cost reduction is always good but will this change or add to the cost. If we do a home with a new 200 service we are charged a flat rate of $642 is it the intent that we add the cost of the new proposed amount to that amount? If we just do a solar system for a off grid cabin I think the new rates would be appropriate. What is the rate for the BCHydro direct connection solar panels going to be there is no storage by the customer.

If this causes more permit purchasing for the same job I would be completely against the proposal. Technical safety is already causing the customers the added cost of permits and inspections directly onto the end user. As contractors we need to charge for our time to do all the paperwork which is an added cost to the customer.

July 9, 2018 at 9.22 PM Electrical contractor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications A fixed, reasonable price for what should be a fairly straight forward install. Currently my solar jobs permits cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $2000 dollars even though the amount of work to be inspected does not differ greatly, just larger inverters and cables with higher quality/more panels.
July 9, 2018 at 12.48 PM Electrical contractor Neutral Size rating of equipment installed. ipsum lorem.
July 8, 2018 at 2.50 PM Renewable energy installer Yes

Size rating of equipment installed.

Amount of energy produced or stored

Standalone units involve more work as they deviate from utility (grid) imposed standards. Commercial inspections are typically more involved due to the various companies' safety protocols.

I think this is a step in the right direction. As someone that installed a standalone generator, battery storage and solar system, the current approach of the permit fees being based on the cost of the equipment does not fit well for the inspection work required. A generator has four wires regardless of size, a battery storage system has two regardless of the size (or cost) of the equipment used. The wires get larger and the appropriate standards change but the basic inspection work stay roughly the same. I can see the need for larger fees when the equipment gets very large (a large solar array comprised of many panels in its array for example - more wiring to inspect).
July 8, 2018 at 9.02 AM other (please specify) No I do not think that there should be any specifications. Don't remember it being as expensive as that when I did my grid connected solar system.
July 7, 2018 at 10.15 PM Electrical contractor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications.

Solar panels, inverters, racking and mounting systems are very expensive for even a small to medium system and permit fees can be over $900 plus there is a hydro fee of $850 , so already a medium system is unaffordable to most people.

No, thank you for this. It helps people to consider implementing these useful less polluting systems of generating power.
July 7, 2018 at 7.19 AM Building owner or manager Yes Other (please specify)   We were charged $900 for a standalone solar system on top of the 1100 for our electrical system. We are an off grid home. This new rate would have been much more reasonable.
July 7, 2018 at 12.46 AM Electrical contractor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications. The material/labor ratio cost of the solar installation versus a typical residential electrical installation is much higher, therefore penalizing the customer for taking the initiative of offsetting they’re consumption. Reality is the ROI is a long term on solar, so thank you for considering the portion of the hydro consumers that want to have a say in how their province generates their power. Thanks for considering this.
July 6, 2018 at 8.22 PM Renewable energy installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications. I think $172 for a permit to install a solar PV gird-tie system is fair. Much better than $642 or more.
July 6, 2018 at 5.41 PM Electrical contractor Yes Size rating of equipment installed.

Currently the permitting is the most expensive part of the installation of an average sized solar project up to 20kw plus.

Only that it's a move in the right direction to lower the cost of permits on these items.
July 6, 2018 at 5.40 PM Other (please specify) No Amount of energy produced or stored. Too high. Suggested 75/125
July 6, 2018 at 4.29 PM Electrical contractor Somewhat Size rating of equipment installed. Amount of energy produced or stored. I'm not exactly sure how this is dealt with currently. These numbers seem fair.
July 6, 2018 at 3.32 PM Electrical contractor No I do not think that there should be any specifications. I agree with the categories but more fees will equal less projects and more underground projects.
July 6, 2018 at 3.29 PM Electrical contractor Somewhat

Size rating of equipment installed.

Amount of energy produced or stored.
Try to explain those two categories and how they are different to a home owner . I don't understand why a system with no other work costs more than one with other stuff happening . If it has something to do with alternate energy pick a number $125 and go with it , easy to understand
July 6, 2018 at 3.26 PM Electrical contractor Yes Size rating of equipment installed.

A great idea.

A great idea!
July 6, 2018 at 3.08 PM Renewable energy installer Yes

Size rating of equipment installed.

Type of end use.
Great! This will standardize permit fees. A customer wanting a higher efficiency solar module should not be penalized.
July 6, 2018 at 3.00 PM Electrical contractor Yes Amount of energy produced or stored. I believe that these proposed fees are more realistic than the current fees being charged for the costs associated with regulating electricity production and storage system installations and connections.
July 6, 2018 at 9.56 AM Renewable energy installer Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications.

Promotes sustainability and provides incentive to people to install renewable energy.

This is a great ideal.
July 5, 2018 at 5.50 PM Manufacturer or Distributor Yes I do not think that there should be any specifications.

The will enable the growth of these technologies deployment at the same time it aligns the fee with the work required.

These changes will help to create jobs in the renewable energy industry and avoid confusion around fee calculation from one area to the next.
July 5, 2018 at 5:42 PM Renewable energy installer Yes Size rating of equipment installed. Seems fair to have a flat rate.
July 5, 2018 at 12:44 PM
Government or Government Agency
Yes

I do not think that there should be any specifications.  

This is an excellent change that allows for the effective safety oversight of these systems while embracing the innovation and environmental sustainability that they can bring to the province.

The positive impact this should have on alternative energy is good.