NewsRegional News Nelson Hydro’s rural customers see bigger rate increase for 2019 SHARE ON: Alex Skultety, staff Thursday, Jan. 10th, 2019 General Manager of Nelson Hydro, Alex Love, explains a bit more about the 2019 rate change as you’ll pay more depending on where you live. It’s only going up 1.5 per cent for those in the urban service and 2.94 per cent for those in rural areas. Love says the two rates are usually the same. “It’s been quite a few years since we’ve had a different rate change for rural and urban, but we have had different rates in the past, but the last several years we’ve had our general rate increases apply equally.” The increases will go towards operating costs which are inflationary; however, the rural rate is higher to help fund vegetation management. The goal is to improve reliability, Love explains. “We’re increasing the budget on that a fair bit because we’re seeing a lot of wind and tree issues having a negative impact on reliability.” In general, he adds, it is more expensive to operate the service in rural areas. “Costs of servicing rural customers are higher than urban basically because there’s a lower density of customers per kilometer of line in the rural area than the urban, which makes sense because they’re all spread out so there’s more power line to maintain for a given number of customers.” The rate increase is effective April 1.