An approved and certified measurement system is integral to accurate and reliable measurement of electricity and to protecting consumers and businesses against loss due to inaccurate or unreliable measurement.
We are introducing requirements to allow electric vehicle (EV) charging based on the amount of energy consumed during a charge (i.e. by kilowatt-hour [kWh]). These requirements are consistent with the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (EGIA), which sets out the requirements for determining how measuring devices must perform when they are used to establish a charge for the purchase or sale of electricity.
As more EV charging options are introduced, it will be up to the EV charging station owner or operator to decide as to the method of billing for an EV charge (whether time-based, flat fee or as part of a Measurement Canada temporary dispensation program that allows energy-based billing). The method of billing must be transparent and clearly indicated to the customer at the time of the EV charge.
Our role is to ensure that when a meter is used to determine the quantity of energy consumed during the purchase or sale of electricity, it measures accurately and in accordance with the requirements of the EGIA and other requirements. The use of a flat fee or time-based billing method for EV charging is exempt from the EGIA and other statutes at this moment.
What we are doing to allow kilowatt-hour billing – February updates
Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging devices:
- In October, based on the consultations that took place over the summer, we introduced a temporary dispensation program for commercial Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging devices already installed in the Canadian marketplace. Dispensations granted under this program will remain in effect until 2030 for devices in use in the marketplace by the end of 2023.
- We have introduced specifications and test procedures for the type approval of Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging devices. These requirements are based on the results of consultations that took place earlier in 2022.
- The consultation on proposed requirements for EV charging devices used to supply energy in a non-public setting, such as a residential building, workplace or private vehicle fleet is now closed. We are reviewing the results of this consultation as part of the development of a temporary dispensation program for EV charging devices used in non-commercial applications. This program is scheduled to be introduced in early 2023.
Level 3+ EV charging devices:
- We have introduced a temporary dispensation program for commercial Level 3+ EV chargers already in use in the Canadian marketplace. Similar to the program for Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging devices, the temporary dispensation for Level 3+ EV charging devices will be valid until 2030.
- In early 2023, we will be launching a consultation on proposed requirements for the type approval of Level 3+ EV charging devices. Finalized requirements based on the results of this consultation are expected to be introduced later in the year.
What you need to know about electric vehicle charging stations
What is our role with respect to electric vehicle charging stations?
Our mandate is to protect the right of consumers to accurate and reliable measurement when they make a purchase based on measurement. As part of our mandate, we administer the EGIA, which sets out requirements for the performance of measuring devices when charging for the purchase or sale of electricity. It also sets out the requirement for operators to register their measuring devices when selling electricity.
Why are technical requirements important?
The Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (EGIA) sets out requirements for measuring devices that sell electricity on the basis of measurement (e.g., accuracy performance standards). These requirements ensure consumers and businesses receive accurate and reliable measurement by establishing minimum measurement standards to which all vendors selling electricity must comply. Allowing billing for an EV charge based on the amount of electricity consumed during a charge (e.g. by kilo-watt hour or kWh) without any technical standards would put consumers and businesses at increased risk of loss due to inaccurate measurement or incorrectly functioning measuring devices.
What else are we doing to support Canadians?
While we are developing our standards for Canada, we are also continuing our work with our international partners, including the U.S. National Conference on Weights and Measures and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), to develop international model standards for billing by kWh at EV charging stations. Our participation in this work ensures Canadians' interests are represented during the development of these model standards.
This approach gives Canadian manufacturers international market opportunities, and provides businesses and consumers with greater access to EV charging station options, as compliance in one participating country enables market access to all participating countries.
Why is it important to register electric vehicle charging stations?
To protect the right of consumers to accurate and reliable measurement when being charged based on measurement, devices must be traceable to a person who is accountable for their use and operation.
To allow traceability and accountability, device operators are required to register as contractors under the EGIA. The requirement to register EV charging stations enables us to track devices used for EV charging to ensure they meet minimum standards for measurement accuracy and reliability. This protects consumers from inaccurate measurement or unfair practices.
What is the role of the operator?
The operator is responsible for keeping their EV charging station in good working condition. The operator must also keep records with the date of the charging station’s last measurement accuracy certification and energy consumption information.
This information allows us to monitor EV charging station device compliance and to respond to consumer complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement.
Is there a cost to register as a contractor?
There is no cost for EV charging station operators to register as a contractor. Registration can be completed by mail or email.
What are the billing methods for charging electric vehicles?
In Canada, possible billing methods for charging electric vehicles include flat fee (charge per use, charge per month) and time-based (charge per amount of time) billing. EV charging can also be provided free of charge or included in the amount charged for another service (e.g. as part of the rate for parking the vehicle).
What is the most common billing method?
Time-based and flat fee billing methods are most commonly used in Canada and other countries, as they allowed the EV charging infrastructure to grow quickly in support of EV adoption, while providing industry with time to develop and refine technologies necessary for accurate and reliable measurement of kWh consumption at EV charging stations. The use of a flat fee or time-based billing method for EV charging is exempt from the EGIA and other statutes at this moment.