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BCUC Approves Permanent 2023 Rates for Nelson Hydro Rural Customers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) issued its decision on Nelson Hydro’s 2023 revenue requirements (rates) application, which outlines its costs and the revenue needed to provide electricity service to customers in its rural service territory.

The BCUC approved Nelson Hydro’s request to increase its rates by 9.87% for rural customers on a permanent basis, effective January 1, 2023. These rates were previously approved on an interim and refundable/recoverable basis that took effect on January 1, 2023.

Nelson Hydro’s 2023 rates reflect changes in how rates are calculated between rural and urban customers based on Nelson Hydro’s cost of service analysis (COSA) decision. The rate increase is due to investments made in the rural service area, increased costs to purchase power from FortisBC Inc., inflation pressures, and vegetation management expenses to prevent wildfires and ensure electricity lines are safe and reliable.

In its decision, the BCUC also directed Nelson Hydro to make several adjustments to its revenue requirements, including assigning its forecast purchase power costs to be consistent with the Nelson Hydro COSA decision, and removing the Mill Street Substation upgrade from the rate base, as the project is not yet in service. The revenue difference from these adjustments will be refunded or recovered through rural customer rates in the future.

The BCUC conducted an open and transparent review of Nelson Hydro’s application and considered evidence from ratepayer groups, customers, and Nelson Hydro, as well as letters of comment from the public before issuing its decision.

For more information, please see the BCUC’s Order G-330-23 or Nelson Hydro’s application on the proceeding page.


Nelson Hydro is an electric utility that is a department of the City of Nelson (City). It serves rural customers outside the City’s boundaries and urban customers within the City’s boundaries. Nelson Hydro is, in part, excluded from regulation under the Utilities Commission Act (UCA) because it is owned and operated by the City and therefore, any services provided within its boundaries do not fall within the UCA’s definition of a public utility. However, the BCUC has jurisdiction under the UCA to regulate Nelson Hydro’s rural operations.

The BCUC is reviewing Nelson Hydro’s 2024 rates application and has approved Nelson Hydro’s request for an interim rate increase of 6.2%, effective January 1, 2024. A permanent decision will be determined through an open and transparency public review process. The BCUC invites the public to submit letters of comment on Nelson Hydro’s 2024 rate application by Thursday, February 29, 2024. For more information, please click here.

About the BCUC 

The BCUC is an independent regulatory body, responsible for regulating BC’s energy utilities, basic automobile insurance rates, and intra-provincial pipeline rates. It is the BCUC’s role to balance the interests of ratepayers with the interests of the businesses it regulates. The BCUC carries out fair and transparent reviews of matters within its jurisdiction and considers public input where public interest is impacted. The BCUC is also the Administrator of BC’s Fuel Price Transparency Act and is responsible for collecting and publishing information about gasoline and diesel activities in BC, in an effort to promote competitiveness and public confidence in the fuel market.


Krissy Van Loon
Manager, Communications
Phone: 604.660.4727

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