Here’s a handy tip when building your laneway house: consider ‘going green’ and building a laneway home without any electricity.. That one simple move could save you the $20,000 that BC Hydro might charge for new electric hookups on these homes.
Bryn Davidson, who runs Lanefab Custom Homes, said he was originally told by city staff it would cost just a few hundred dollars to hook up power to the new backyard rental units.
“We were told from the city and other people that we would be able to just run off of an upgrade to the main house for about $500,” said Davidson.
But now that his clients are going ahead with their projects, BC Hydro has revealed the price for hook-ups will be up to $20,000 for some homeowners.
“Through the process of dealing with these first ones, we were originally told [by BC Hydro] it would be between $20,000 and $30,000, and now they’re saying between $8,000 and $20,000,” said Davidson.
BC Hydro was not available for comment early Monday morning, but Davidson said the power company said the overhead power lines are at capacity, so the new lines will have to be run underground.
One of Davidson’s clients, Agnus Mendoza, said she can’t believe staff at BC Hydro appeared to be so unprepared for the new homes and were not more upfront about the potential costs. Mendoza says she’s already spent more than $4,000 on development fees and was hoping to break ground on her unit this week before learning of expensive hook-up fee.
Or take part in the latest Vancouver eco-density fad: extension cables hanging from tree branches going from the main house to the garage.