Why are my energy bills going up so much compared to the same month in previous years?
Beyond the fact that the cost of energy is increasing each year customers in Nelson may also have noticed their consumption of energy is increasing especially in comparison to 2010. The charts following show the Heating Degree Days in Nelson by month from 2005 through to April 2012.
Heating degree days are a measure of the heating (energy) requirements for a home. HDD is calculated on the difference of the average daily temperature from 18.0 °C. For example a day with an average temperature of 15.0 °C would count as 3.0 HDD.
(18.0 - 15.0) x 1 Day = 3.0°C x1 Day = 3.0 HDD.
On the charts below notice that during the peak winter heating months 2011 & 2012 both had much higher heating requirements than 2009-2010. Also note the high degree of variability in weather patterns from year to year ,in particular November 2005 - 2006 -2007.
Heating Degree Day information Source:
Environment Canada (http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/)
For more information, please contact:
Nelson Hydro Administration
How do Nelson Hydro Energy Sales breakdown?
How do Nelson Hydro Rates compare to other areas of Canada?
I am building a new house. How do I get a new electrical connection?
Contact Nelson Hydro Customer Service, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to apply for a new service. You will also need to enlist the services of a licensed electrical contractor. Your contractor can call Nelson Hydro on your behalf, or you can call directly.
I am moving to Nelson. What do I need to do to get my electrical account?
Call the Nelson Hydro electrical billing department and apply to have the electrical service at the address you are moving into transferred into your name. You will have to visit City Hall to sign for the account and provide billing information.
I am moving away from Nelson, or am relocating to a different residence. What do I need to do?
Call the Nelson Hydro electrical billing department and have your account transferred from your existing location to the new location. If you are permanently leaving Nelson, you must call to close your account.
I need to upgrade my electrical service at my residence. What do I need to do?
Contact Nelson Hydro Customer Service and apply for a service upgrade. You will also need to enlist the services of a licensed electrical contractor. Your contractor can call Nelson Hydro on your behalf, or you can call directly.
I am interested in purchasing a vacant parcel of property that has no electrical service. What steps do I need to take to get power to the property?
Contact Nelson Hydro Customer Service and apply for electrical service. Nelson Hydro will advise you on the procedure. A site visit will determine the nearest available power, and how the power line extension will be built to reach the new location. When required, Nelson Hydro applies for Ministry of Transportation permits to work on public road allowance. Before any construction can begin, all permits, payments and required easements must be in place.
I am building a new house or upgrading my electrical service. When will my project be connected?
Your connection can be scheduled for connection after all Nelson Hydro payments have been made and permits have been submitted to Nelson Hydro. Any statutory rights of way required must also be completed.
Why are my bills so high?
All bills are based on consumption, whether estimated or actual.There can be several reasons why your actual consumption is high: the length of the billing period (this can range from under 30 days to over 60 days, depending on many circumstances); the time of year and related changes in lighting hours and weather conditions; whether you have electric or gas heat and electric hot water; the age of your hot water tank and appliances; the hot water tank temperature setting. . . and the list goes on!
Are there any payment programs?
There are several ways in which you can pay your Hydro bills:
- Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP) from your bank account on the first or fifteenth of each month or the first working day following those dates. Customers can chose payments based on the actual billed amount or an equal amount based on the average consumption over the last twelve months.
- Bank initiated payments by Internet, telephone and electronic funds transfers (EFT). Please keep in mind if payments are made via phone, the Internet or in person at the bank, you must allow time for bank processing (three business days for Internet or telephone payments and ten business days for in-person bank payments). If payments are not received on time, penalties will be applied.
When is my billing period and when do I expect to receive my bill?
All City of Nelson Hydro meters are read bi-monthly.With close to 10,000 meters in the city, the reading of the meters is done in cycles.For example, if your account number begins with 0002, 0004, 0006 (even numbers), your readings are taken on the even numbered months: February (02), April (04), June (06), etc. if your account number begin with 0001, 0003, 0005 (odd numbers), your readings are taken on the odd numbered months: January (01), March (03), May (05), etc. The number of days in your billing period may vary based on these cycles. Each billing period will be roughly 60 days and you will receive your bill approximately one week after your reading has been taken.
When is my payment due and why do I get penalty charges?
You have 30 days from the billing date to make your payment.If your payment is not received within 30 days, you will receive an Overdue Notice and penalty of 5 percent will be added to your bill.The overdue notice gives you 10 days to make a payment. If you fail to do so, a second notice called the Disconnection Warning will be sent, giving you another 5 days to pay the outstanding amount plus the penalty. If a payment has not been received after 45 days from the initial bill, a Disconnect Final Notice will be sent, which allows for payment to be made within 5 days.If payment is still not received at this point, disconnection will take place.
How do I terminate my electrical account?
Contact a Nelson Hydro Clerk, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please allow three working days' notice in advance of the date you want the service to cease. Please advise our staff if the termination of service needs to involve removing electrical lines from a mobile home or building. This process can extend the wait time for service.
An account will be automatically terminated when an application for a new account is received from a new customer. The registered customer is liable for all outstanding charges of an account, as long as the account remains under their name.
How do I stop service at my old address and start service at my new address?
Contact a Nelson Hydro Clerk, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
How much advance notice do you need to open, close or transfer an account?
Please provide as much advance notice as possible. In this way we can ensure a meter reader can take readings at your old and new addresses, so that your closing and opening bills will accurately reflect your usage. Premises may be assumed to be vacant and subject to disconnection if we have not received an application for service.
Where can I find my legal land description?
If you own the land, this information can be found in the land title, mortgage papers or tax assessment information. If you rent the property, this information can be found on your lease agreement. Contact your landlord or check with City Hall if you are unable to find your legal land description.
Who reads my meter?
Nelson Hydro takes meter readings every two months. We are making the final transition from old mechanical-style dial meters to new radio-read meters. This change means that our meter reading department can effectively read your meter without approaching your dwelling. Radio-read meters also greatly decrease the time required to read a metered area of the Nelson Hydro system. If you believe that there may be issues with your reading, please call our Meter Department at 250-352-8223, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Why doesn't Nelson Hydro always notify customers of outages?
Nelson Hydro tries to notify customers of planned power outages either by telephone or door tag notifications. For planned outages, we make every effort to provide customers with the best information available. However, we are unable to notify customers in instances where the outage is out of our control, such as outages caused by weather, animals, fire or motor vehicle accidents.
What are some reasons for power outages?
Electrical outages can be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- Storms: Wind, lightning, ice and snow are the most common causes of widespread outages.
- Trees: High winds sometimes cause branches to come in contact with power lines. If your lights often blink on windy days, tree branches in the power lines may be the cause. Please call 250-352-8229 so we can investigate.
- Vehicles: Motor vehicles sometimes crash into utility poles or other equipment and cause outages.
- Animals: Squirrels, birds and other animals may contact lines and cause short circuits.
- Excavation digging: Shovels or other digging equipment can cause damage to underground cables.
- High power demand: Heat waves and other times of unusually high power demand can overload our equipment and cause an outage or cause equipment previously weakened by lightning to fail.
(See Electrical Emergency)
What do I do if the power goes out?
First, verify that your whole house is out of power. You may have only blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker and need to check your service panel. Check to see if nearby streetlights or your neighbours are out of power.
If you have verified that the outage is not related to your own circuit breaker or fuse box, turn off or disconnect any appliances you were using when the outage occurred. Leave one light on so you will know when power has been restored.
Contact Nelson Hydro 24-hour toll free at 1-877-324-9376 (1-877-32-HYDRO).
I have noticed a wire hanging down from an electricity pole. What should I do about it?
The first thing you must do is stay at least 10 metres away from the downed power line. Watch for conductive materials like fences and secure the area. You must never attempt to touch or to go near such a wire. Even if it is on the ground, it may still be live and could kill you if you go near it. Contact Nelson Hydro immediately at 250-352-8229 during working hours, or Nelson Hydro 24-hour toll free at 1-877-324-9376 (1-877-32-HYDRO).
(See Electrical Emergency)
Are those warning signs on electricity substations saying danger just an exaggeration to keep people out?
Nelson Hydro Substations contain high voltage equipment of up to 63,000 volts. Even much lower voltages can jump through the air and reach you. Contact with high voltage electricity can result in injury or death.
(See Electrical Emergency)
What should I do if I damaged an electrical cable while I was working in my yard?
Never touch the cable even if you think you have not caused any damage. Contact Nelson Hydro immediately at 250-352-8229 or 250-352-8214 during working hours, or Nelson Hydro 24-hour toll free at 1-877-324-9376 (1-877-32-HYDRO).
(See Electrical Emergency)
I want to locate the buried wires and electrical cables on my property. What should I do?
Anyone planning to excavate is required to contact BC One Call at least three working days before the excavation begins, to ensure that your request is completed in a timely manner. You must also contact Nelson Hydro at 250-352-8214 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
(See Locate Underground Services)
Why are tree trimming and removal necessary?
Trees sometimes pose a danger to power lines and the customers we serve, and Nelson Hydro is regulated to maintain a three-metre clearance from primary distribution power lines for public safety by removing or trimming trees that are too close to power lines.
Will Nelson Hydro trim trees around my house service?
Nelson Hydro does not trim around service lines to homes. It is the customer's responsibility to keep their own service lines clear of trees and branches. You can hire a licensed arborist to clear the trees, or you could do the work yourself if you wish. You (and your contractor) must contact Nelson Hydro and communications companies to drop the service lines while the work is being done. Contact Nelson Hydro at 250-352-8214 or 250-352-8229 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
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