LETTER: A raw hydro deal for rural customers

From reader Kevin LePape

Re: “Nelson Hydro ordered to reimburse rural customers,” Nov. 21

This story about Nelson Hydro being ordered to refund rural customers and rescind the rural rate increase misses the major point of the BCUC ruling. And I don’t think city manager Kevin Cormack is being honest about his contention that rate fairness is his desire.

I don’t think anyone, certainly not me, would argue against rate fairness. If it costs more to deliver electricity to rural customers we are not opposed to paying more. A fair price for a fair product. But if it were true that it costs more to deliver electricity to rural customers then why is Nelson Hydro padding the true cost in a most dishonest manner?

The majority of the differential arrived at in Nelson Hydro’s questionable cost of service analysis results from assigning the cost of power generated by the Bonnington generating facility, which is less that one cent per kilowatt-hour to city customers, and then assigning virtually all the cost of purchasing power from Fortis at about five cents per kilowatt-hour to rural customers.

This is an absurd calculation, has no basis in fact or history and is one of the main reasons the BCUC rejected Nelson Hydro in blunt terms. Consider that in the heights of spring the dam often generates more power than the entire customer base can use. In the depths of winter the dam generates a fraction of what all customers use. Therefore at many if not most times of the year we are all using the same power and the same sources for power. Therefore assigning power purchases to rural customers is total BS.

Quit playing silly games and claiming it’s all very complicated.

Kevin LePape


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