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Rural Nelson could see hydro rates increase by 10 per cent

Rural residents in Nelson could see an increase on their hydro bills starting on Jan. 1 2023.

Council voted unanimously on a motion to raise rural hydro consumption rates by 9.87 per cent, pending a decision by the BC Utilities Commission.

According to Nelson Hydro, the increase could translate into an additional 13 dollars a month for the average rural hydro consumer.

Director of Nelson Hydro Scott Spencer said increasing rates is an extensive process that must be done in an informative and transparent manner that is easy for residents to understand.

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“Over the past two years we have been working with the BC Utilities Commission to establish a cost of service process that allows us to set rates in a fair and transparent way,” said Spencer. 

Spencer said they looked at every avenue before implementing a rate increase because they know residents are struggling to make ends meet. 

“We recognize these difficult times, and people are struggling with high inflation and cost of living,” said Spencer. “That is why we analyzed everything before implementing a rate increase for the value of service.”

He notes there were a number of factors including other costs residents must pay that Nelson Hydro had to consider before implementing a rural increase.  

“We automatically have to factor in Fortis BC’s rate increase of 3.99 per cent, and we recognize inflationary pressures of 5.35 per cent,” Spencer explained. “It is a big hit, but we have done everything we can to keep the rate below 10 per cent.”

Spencer said the cost increase should be manageable to rural consumers.

Hydro presented council with the application to increase rates in October, and is still waiting for approval from the BC Utilities Commission.

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