Nelson Hydro adapts to COVID-19 with breaks for customers

Nelson Hydro adapts to COVID-19 with breaks for customers

No late fees or disconnections, and payments more flexible

During COVID-19, Nelson Hydro will not charge late fees on accounts, will not disconnect upon non-payment, and will arrange flexible payment options with customers.

“Our priority is the safety, health and well-being of its employees, customers and the community while ensuring our employees and facilities remain safe during these challenging times,” said Nelson Hydro’s general manager Alex Love.

Account balances and flexible payment

Customers who need to change how they get information about their accounts, find new ways to pay their bills, or discuss flexible payment options should call 250-352-8206 or email hydroclerk@nelson.ca.

“We recognize there might be more people having trouble paying their bill than we usually encounter,” Love said. “These are good customers who are in a jam, so we want to provide them some flexibility.”

Late fees and disconnections

Nelson Hydro will waive late payment fees on overdue accounts and will not be disconnecting for non-payment. All disconnections are being postponed until after June 15 and the situation will be reassessed at that time.

Deferment programs

Nelson Hydro will offer flexible payment options but not deferment of payments to a future date.

“We wanted to do something that would accommodate our customers but not create future bill payments or forgive the payments altogether,” Love said, “because the cost will have to come from somewhere.”

How to pay a hydro bill

Customers can pay their bill in the following ways:

• pre-authorized equalized monthly payments withdrawal on the 1st or 15th monthly

• at a bank (financial institutions are still open to the public)

• online banking and telephone banking

• after hours drop boxes at the entrance doors to city hall

• mail a cheque via Canada Post

• call 250-352-8206 to pay by credit card.

Draft proof your house

Love said he recognizes that many families are using more energy by staying home during the pandemic. He said customers should consider draft-proofing their home through Hydro’s EcoSave program.

“Making energy efficiency improvements is a way to reduce power bills not only this year but for many years in the future as well,” he said.

Requests for new power connections and upgrades are running 90 per cent of average volume, Love said, and Nelson Hydro is keeping up with all planned maintenance and tree trimming.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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