Nelson Hydro COSA Discussion

By 02/03/2021March 3rd, 2021No Comments

In November of 2020, the City of Nelson submitted a Cost of Service Analysis to the BC Utilities Commission. The report outlined our findings that costs between commercial, residential, rural vs urban had over time and for a number of reasons become quite unbalanced and unfair.

Currently, commercial and urban customers are heavily subsidizing the cost of rural living.

We submitted a new rate design that would rebalance these inequities and passed policies in the spring of 2020 that provided greater transparency, clarity and authenticity to how we make such determinations and calculations.


However, despite that work information has been circulated among the rural residents and RDCK directors that talk right past these policies and applications. Instead, advocates perpetuate a number of misleading talking points in hopes of inflaming the rural tensions towards the city so the BCUC comment period will be stuffed with anger and mistrust.

Rural ratepayers swept up in this are effectively advocating for brand new rights for themselves on the back of city residents. The right to have their electrical costs subsidized by the City of Nelson Electric Utility while they simultaneously avoid city taxation by being outside our government powers. These demands are inconsistent with the history of the district or the practices of the province towards private and municipal utility operators like Nelson Hydro, Fortis and other community energy providers.

Nelson has put thought and care towards coming up with a rate structure that is intellectually and historically consistent with the values of fairness and equity. Rates are designed to be equal for all ratepayers although costs are contained within two tax jurisdictions. Nelson and the RDCK.


This approach is consistent with our legislative limits and responsibilities to our residents. And while we meet those obligations and work within that limits we also still able to provide private power sales to rural customers that are cheaper than any other utility in the province.

You have until tomorrow to send a letter or email of comment to the BCUC. Please consider letting the commission know your thoughts on subsidizing rural living on your city electric bill. The deadline is Thursday.

You can write to them at Suite 410, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2N3. Or email a letter to commission.secretary@bcuc.com Before March 4th, 2020