UBC Energy and Water Services (EWS) provides electricity, natural gas, thermal energy and water services to the University’s academic buildings at the cost of the commodity, which is significantly below market rates. The savings generated from this margin are reinvested into academic teaching and research activities, providing substantial value to the campus community.

Ancillary and tenant customers, on the other hand, pay full market rates. All revenues from ancillary and tenant utility services are reinvested into UBC operations.

Rates and Rate Principles:

  • UBC EWS sets its rates based on the respective equivalent rates charged by the City of Vancouver, the University Endowment Lands, FortisBC and BC Hydro

Meter Reading & Invoice Processing:

  • UBC EWS owns, maintains and reads revenue meters for electricity, water, natural gas, thermal energy (steam) and hot water. Meters are read from approximately the 15th of the month to the 21st. Invoices are mailed or emailed by the 10th of the following month.
  • Customers receive statements and a copy of their current invoice(s) each month. Payment must be received within 30 days. We’re able to accept payment by cash or cheque only at this time. To ensure your payment is applied to your account, please record your three-digit account number, or the invoice number, on the front of your cheque. Your three-digit account number identifies your unique customer information profile. You need to reference this number when making payments or contacting our office.
  • If you’d like to receive your bills in pdf format by email, please call the EWS office.
  • If you’d like to drop off your bill payment, our office is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The customer service office is located on the second floor of the Campus Energy Centre (CEC).

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How does UBC receive its water?
    A.Water is received from two main reservoirs: Seymour Reservoir and Capilano Reservoir. The water is delivered through Metro Vancouver’s piping system to a secondary reservoir. From the secondary reservoir, water is pumped to the University Endowment Lands (UEL) before being delivered to the UBC campus. For more information about our water piping system, visit the water Infrastructure page.
  2. When does Metro Vancouver set its water rates?
    A.Water rates are established at the beginning of each calendar year.
  3. Why is our water bill higher during the summer?
    A.Metro Vancouver applies a 25 per cent premium on base water rates during the summer months. These peak rates apply in June, July, August and September.
  4. My strata receives a water bill every two to four months, which means charges sometimes vary considerably between each bill. How is the EWS billing schedule determined?
    A.EWS performs meter readings and issues water service bills four times a year. However, because Metro Vancouver adds a 25 per cent surcharge on base water rates during the summer months, EWS’s billing schedule is adjusted to align with this seasonal rate change.

Collection Period

The collection period reflects the period of time (months) that your water usage is measured.

Effective Date

Metro Vancouver’s water rates are established at the beginning of each calendar year. If the collection period of your bill “straddles” late 2014 and early 2015, for example, there will be two different rates applied to your bill: one for the rate period that ends December 31st, and one starting January 1st 2015 for the new rate period. The effective date distinguishes between the 2014 rate period and the 2015 rate period.

Minimum Charge

All buildings are billed a minimum charge of $25, or the cost of the actual water delivered, whichever is greater.