New credit on electricity bills set to take effect in new year

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, thanks to a one-time cost-of-living rebate through Nelson Hydro.

The city-owned utility is extending the credit on electricity bills as part of a Province of B.C. initiative to address the impacts of global inflation on families and small businesses in B.C.

What it means is that people who are customers of the local utility will receive a $100 credit on their first electricity bill in the new year. However, only one credit is available per residential customer, regardless of the number of accounts each customer holds.

For commercial customers, there will be a credit based on electricity consumption — between Oct. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2022 — which is expected to average around $240.

The credit is available to all current Nelson Hydro customers — active since Oct. 1 — and will automatically appear on hydro bills.

“Customers will receive the bill credit during the winter heating season when energy use spikes and bills are at their highest,” noted a press release from the City of Nelson.

Mayor Janice Morrison acknowledged the province recognized how much of an impact global inflation has had on people.

“This credit will also go a long way towards mitigating the impact of scheduled electricity rate increases set to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2023,” she said.

More affordable

There is another credit British Columbians will receive in the new year.

Families and eligible people will automatically receive the new B.C. Affordability Credit through the Canada Revenue Agency, the same way the enhanced Climate Action Tax Credit was received in October.

“An eligible person with an income of up to $36,901 will receive the maximum B.C. Affordability Credit with the credit fully phasing out at $79,376. An eligible family of four with a household income of $43,051 will get the maximum amount, with the credit fully phasing out at $150,051,” noted a release from the province.

The credit amounts to as much as $410 — in early January 2023 — for a family of four to help offset added costs.

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily