Services That Benefit the UBC Community
UBC’s Energy and Water Services unit provides electricity, natural gas, thermal energy and water services exclusively to the UBC community, which includes residential neighbourhoods, commercial outlets and schools. Our customer base consists of the UBC academic and administrative campus, ancillaries (such as Athletics and the UBC bookstore), and tenant customers, including the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA).
But, we’re not a utility in the traditional sense. We’re not competing for customers or generating profits for shareholders. Rather, UBC’s energy and water cost savings are reinvested into academic teaching and research activities, providing substantial value to the campus community.
- We provide electricity, natural gas, thermal energy and water services to the university’s academic buildings at the cost of the commodities, which are 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.
- The services for ancillary and tenant customers are sold at full market rates, based on the respective equivalent rates charged by the City of Vancouver, the University Endowment Lands, FortisBC and BC Hydro. All revenues from ancillary and tenant utility services are reinvested into UBC operations.
Meter Reading and Invoice Processing
- UBC Energy & Water Services 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
- How does UBC receive its water?
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 our Water Infrastructure page.
- When does Metro Vancouver set its water rates?
Water rates are established at the beginning of each calendar year.
- What is the “Collection Period”?
The collection period reflects the period of time (months) that your water usage is measured.
- Why is our water bill higher during the summer?
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.
- Why does my water bill have more than one rate?
Metro Vancouver’s water rates are established at the beginning of each calendar year. If the collection period of your bill “straddles” late 2017 and early 2018, 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 2017 rate period and the 2018 rate period.
- My strata receives a water bill every two to four months, which means charges sometimes vary considerably between each bill. How is the billing schedule determined?
Energy & Water Services 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.
- My water bill has a minimum charge. Where does that come from?
All buildings are billed a minimum charge of $25, or the cost of the actual water delivered, whichever is greater.