Nelson Hydro examines fees

Nelson Hydro is going over its rates and fees. - Bob Hall photo
Nelson Hydro is going over its rates and fees.
— image credit: Bob Hall photo

Nelson Hydro has updated its services bylaw for the first time in 30 years.

The bylaw lays out rates for utility connection fees and adds a new callout fee for special event power. The changes will improve Nelson Hydro’s cost recovery for those services and reduce the utility’s operation costs.

“These rates aren’t updated annually when we set our energy consumption rates. They only change if we update this service bylaw,” Nelson Hydro manager Alex Love explained at a city council meeting earlier this month.

He also outlined several other changes and new additions in the bylaw.

Independent power producers will now be able to have net-metering to balance the power they use relative to the power they provide back into the grid. (“We currently have about five customers providing energy into our grid,” Love noted.)

And, Nelson Hydro will have more flexibility around disconnecting power for non-payment, allowing the utility to use load limiting devises, rather than cutting power completely, “so the customer could still power their furnace, say, but not the full house.”

There’s also provisions to address unmetered porch lighting and to clarify who’s responsible for trimming vegetation around the utility connections.

The new hydro services bylaw will take effect April 1.

Nelson Hydro will introduce a separate bylaw amendment to council later this month to request approval of the new 2013 hydro rates.


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