Prepare for higher power bills

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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NDP wants to talk relief for ratepayers

Costs have ballooned on the province’s landmark Lower Churchill Project, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s capital budgets have skyrocketed and Newfoundland Power claims greater demand on its operations.

A digital electric power meter.

It all adds up to higher power bills ahead. But how much higher? When?

Newfoundland Power can’t say.

Related content:

Don’t trust your power bill? Question it

Letter: Worried to death about Muskrat Falls

“As we understand it, the Muskrat Falls project will cost about $9 billion upon completion. This is approximately three times the value of the current investment in the province’s electricity system (Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro combined),” stated Karen McCarthy, Newfoundland Power’s director of customer and corporate communications, in an emailed response to questions.

“This will then mean a significant increase in customer electricity rates in the future, something which concerns Newfoundland Power considerably.”

When sanctioned in 2012, the project was estimated at $6.2-billion but now stands on the books at $7.65-billion. Another update is expected later this year.

It is not the only factor in rates.

In documents on file with the Public Utilities Board, from fall 2015, Nalcor suggested the all-in cost for the average residential customer by 2020 would be 19.8 cents per kWh — a 53 per cent increase from current rates.

The estimated figure includes a 15 per cent HST. The Liberals waved off that tax increase, but have also not stood firm in related messaging since.

As for other avenues of relief, Premier Dwight Ball has mandated Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady to see excess power from the Muskrat Falls project sold and the revenues applied, like a salve, to help ratepayers.

But how much money might reasonably be expected through the sales? How will it be distributed (for example, how much to commercial versus residential ratepayers)?

Consumer Advocate Tom Johnson said he has not been involved in any detailed discussions around applying revenues from power sales. But he suggested people can expect more certainty on their power costs with time.

Edith Fitzgerald is a senior living in an apartment in the east end of St. John’s and wrote a letter earlier this year about taxation in the city and the rising cost of living, citing the uncertainty around her power bills.

“I think the power bills are ridiculous,” she said Monday. “They’re going up and up and up and I just don’t know how people are going to live.”

She receives a subsidy from Newfoundland and Labrador Housing for her costs, but noted not everyone is in a position to receive the same assistance.

On March 21 in the House of Assembly, NDP MHA Gerry Rogers asked about the affordability of power.

“Like the Member opposite,” Ball replied, “we, too, understand that we have many people in our province right now — many low income, particularly widows and so on, many of our seniors right now — they do struggle. It is not lost on us with an understanding of knowing that electricity rates play an important part.”

The province actually has the highest number of seniors (by percentage) in the country receiving a Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in addition to their Old Age Security (OAS). The GIS is a monthly, non-taxable supplement for OAS recipients with low income. In statistics from March 2015, the province was cited as having 95,374 OAS recipients with 48,392 also receiving GIS.

For comparison, at least five provinces and territories have under 30 per cent of OAS recipients also receiving GIS.

Then again, there are plenty of people juggling bills, even with higher incomes.

At Credit Counselling Services of Newfoundland and Labrador, Al Antle said his office has been sitting down on cases where the combined income well above average, but are still being slammed by an unmanageable consumer debt load.

He said the office maintains a “superb relationship” with Newfoundland Power, finding arrangements wherever possible to help clients pay monies owed to the utility.

But he also said he has recently had clients working in the public service mention they expect to see a freeze on income growth for the next few years, even as their costs — not least of all being power — are going up.

“So how are people going to cope with that? That concern is starting to be expressed at this point.”

The Telegram reached out to government communications March 23 regarding this story. The following statement was received shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday, attributed to Minister Coady:

“The Public Utilities Board is responsible for the regulation of electric utilities in our province to ensure that the rates charged are just and reasonable. Final electricity rates after Muskrat Falls would be set by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities through a future general rate application. As part of government’s mandate, we are committed to selling surplus power generated from Muskrat Falls and to use that revenue to mitigate increases in electricity rates. After the rate application has been filed, government will review the proposed rates and determine the level of mitigation required. ”



Organizations: Newfoundland Power, Public Utilities Board, Old Age Security Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Credit Counselling Services of Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities

Geographic location: Muskrat Falls

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Recent comments

  • Elizabeth
    March 30, 2016 - 08:26

    Why are we paying for NALCOR errors? Their expenses go up every day that the job is not completed. Why are we being penalized? Are we really going to pay for someone else's problem????

  • Ferd
    March 29, 2016 - 21:05

    My light bill was half what it is today 15 yrs ago. And Liberals ran holyrood Gen station in ground. Took millions and millions. From NL hydro Christ. Didn't AG find. One-time that even expenses cutting then premier Brian Tobin s lawn care and grass cutting charged to NL hydro. In attempt to hide it away. Every cent nl hydro made was burned through by Tobin and Grimes. So what's big deal if hydro rates double next 15 years. Cause they doubled in past 15 and we did nothing except watch Holyrood gen station age. At least Danny Williams reinvested profit's back in hydro. And mowed his own lawn. No charge to NL taxpayers

  • Jack
    March 29, 2016 - 19:20

    The spot market dorm electrical power in New England has been dipping as low as 2 cents per kilowatt. How much do you think that will shave off our $1,000 a month power bills.

  • Norm.
    March 29, 2016 - 16:33

    When an company faces tough times, management will sell some assets. HQ owns 33% of CF. Nalcor could sell the 66% to HQ. for billions$. Then the power rate on the Rock can be reduced to Montreal rates.

  • Winston
    March 29, 2016 - 15:01

    `PREPARE FOR HIGHER POWER BILLS`.....but we were told than before 2012. Maybe 40 percent higher, now 78 percent higher... who knows. Hardly anyone seemed to care in 2012 that this was coming. But I had already installed my minisplit heat pump, and heats my cottage for 260 dollars of energy per year. Friends said they would do this, but only after they see the rates jump high. Of course at double the rates my heat will cost 520 dollars a year, still not bad. There are a few thousand of these now in Nfld, but only about 2 percent of the houses have them. But if everyone installs them, rates may keep on going up, as MF must be paid for. And there are too few installers here, so with more demand for these, you`ll be on the wait list.

  • Fed up with NALCON
    March 29, 2016 - 14:18

    And yet we keep bending over......... What is wrong with people? Stand up or continue to be controlled till your in a tent paying $1,000 a month camping fees. In reality the ratepayers need to have a class action lawsuit started against NALCOR for every dollar more than they stated initially this mess would cost us. Clearly this is being mismanaged and poorly budgeted right from the get go. Why should the people of the province and country be on the hook anymore for these crooks?

  • TheBrutalTruth
    March 29, 2016 - 13:41

    It's a given that the 11 billion dollar price tag will have to be repaid within the first year by rate payers. And don't think you're getting off if you don't get an electricity bill. This cost will also be paid for all over again in taxes. That's right, you have to pay twice for muskrat falls. And after it is paid for there will be no profit, ever. All this could have been avoided if the government had undertaken literally any other type of power production. An oil plant or wind farm would have been delivered under budget, on time and never increase in cost.

  • ED
    March 29, 2016 - 13:05

    And speaking of John Smith`s bullshit, compare electricity rate in Quebec, Manitoba, and BC, who have lots of waterpower as we do, and their rates are 25 to 50 percent cheaper than ours! Compare apples with apples, not with New York CityE

    • Alec C
      March 29, 2016 - 22:21 NY residential electricity use 6500 kWh/y(17.7c kWh) NL 17222 kWh/y (11c kWh) US average 11000 kWh/y (8.3c kWh) NYs average kWh price is only 1.3 cents higher V MFs (2010) 16.4c kWh starting price. 20c kWh in NL by 2020 is a 9c kWh increase - an astronomical amount. NL residents will be paying $3444 a year @ 20c kWh if we maintain 62GJ of energy use a year - Nalcor's demand forecasts have +50% energy growth by 2067, one of the key pillars the project was sold on. Their residential demand forecasts quite frankly aren't based in reality, even Power has admitted lower demand with the forthcoming rate shock.

  • The Enforcer
    March 29, 2016 - 12:57

    I spose a new "wood stove tax" will be implemented soon. Oh my... she's gone b'ys she's gone.

    • John
      March 29, 2016 - 19:26

      That's already been talked about my super justin

  • Rob
    March 29, 2016 - 12:37

    I agree this project is a big mistake. Nalcor could have built an 800 MW natural gas-fired combine dcycle plant on the avalon for $1 billion. More than enough power for NL's long-term needs. Where do you get the natural gas? Hibernia has been flaring and injecting natural gas into the reseviour for years for "extraction at a later date". I'm sure there's a solution to ship the gas to shore for less than $5 billion! Natural gas is cheap. For example, $3/GJ natural gas + $2/shipping (high estimate) = $5/GJ x a 7.0 heat rate = $35/MW marginal costs or 3.5 cents per kilowatthour for consumers. Oh add a rate of return of 10% and you're still paying under 4.0 cents per kW. No underwater transmission lines and ridiculous line losses from power travelling from Labrador down to St. John's. Also, they keep talking about these long-term contracts with customers in New England? Who's buying and do the interconnections even exist yet?

    • What?
      March 29, 2016 - 13:06

      Just wait until this disaster comes online. We will have NAFTA challenges from those who will demand access to NL to sell their cheaper power in our market. Once we are connected to the North American grid we are open to others demanding access to our market. No politician will even touch that boogeyman.

    • Jerome
      March 29, 2016 - 13:33

      There are no contracts. There are no interconnections. Hydro QC can undercut us every time on their rate. The market is limited and demand in the US has dropped - Hydro QC knows that. Otherwise they as well as Ontario would be pursuing the Great Whale and James Bay II projects.

    • Errol
      March 29, 2016 - 14:21

      Quite correct, Rob. Of course this was not one of the two alternatives that were allowed to be considered. An LNG plant could have been built for under $1 billion as well, and even when buying the finished LNG offshore, it would have been cheaper than this terrible Muskrat plan, and would have supplied us with reliable power long into the future, when we could avail of Churchill Falls power, without worrying about interruptions. No one believes that a plant 1100 kms from the demand will be without interruption. NL is also one of very few offshore jurisdictions without a gas plan.

    • roy206
      March 29, 2016 - 14:30

      Good research, nice comment, keep it up. Not that many people into the energy side of the equation, or the math either. We intend to sell a 20+ cent product in a 4 cent market and plow the "profits" back to the nl consumer. This is the economic diversification plan to make up the shortfall on oil and is right up there with the budget balancing itself....

    • Rob
      March 29, 2016 - 15:09

      Average Regulated Rate Option (RRO) price in Alberta was about 5.0 cents per kWh in 2015 and is averaging 4.5 cents per kWh in 2016. Hello cheap natural gas-fired generation! Is there anyone else in North America building large hydro?- No. Except for BC Hydro and they are connected and are close to load centers.

  • dupce
    March 29, 2016 - 12:00

    When the Muskrat Falls goes under as all major projects have done in the past on the Rock, don’t come running to Hydro Quebec to save you again. This time you can go Bankrupt and Hydro Quebec will buy you off again as they did with the Upper Churchill.

  • Henry
    March 29, 2016 - 10:51

    The government is behaving like organized crime. This project sh never have started and now our rate payers will pay huge upfront costs to pay for this atrocity for years to come. The provincial government under Premier Ball need to come to grips with this looming problem with electricity rates in this province. I predict that this will be the second major issue in this province next to the Progressive Conservative debt created for years of misspent oil royalties.. I am so sad our beautifull province has come to this when instead of counting our blessings we will all be consumed with balancing our bank accounts to pay for the bungling of politicians..

  • Unplugged
    March 29, 2016 - 10:20

    The story quotes a person who supposedly looks out for our interests as consumers. The consumer advocate didn't say much, just that we'll eventually find out how high the rates will go. Well that's pretty obvious isn't it? You could have stood up at the PUB hearings and said no. You didn't. You stood by and said nothing while this was being rammed through. I don't know who you were looking out for but it wasn't the seniors who are going to get crushed by these ridiculous rates. I'd say it's time to get a new consumer advocate but it really doesn't matter any more now does it?

  • Brian
    March 29, 2016 - 10:05

    "As part of government’s mandate, we are committed to selling surplus power generated from Muskrat Falls and to use that revenue to mitigate increases in electricity rates." Now there's a joke if I ever heard one. The spot rate for Hydro power in the US is, and has been for years, around 3 cents/kwh. Some time ago, it was said that MF power would cost about 13 cents/kwh to produce, and that was before the continuing escalation in project costs. So we'll produce it for 13 cents/kwh and sell it for 3 cents/kwh. Nice profit there...not. So the 10 cents/kwh we'll lose on selling surplus power will have to be subsidized guessed it...the rate payer. Attempting to sell excess power will make things worse, not better. Given the escalating costs associated with the project, the projected rate of 20 cents/kwh is very much lowballed. It is very likely to start off closer to 25 cents/kwh, and it has already been stated that there is an expectation of increases in the range of 2 cents/kwh every couple of years thereafter. Within five years of flipping the switch at MF, we can easily expect our rates to be in excess of 30 cents/kwh. And many, many people will be living in the cold, or will be bankrupt.

  • Just Sayin
    March 29, 2016 - 09:57

    For those with high heating bills, here is the good news: Nfld Power has completed a study that shows some 4000 mini-split heat pumps installed in Nfld, average power savings compared to baseboard heaters is 20 percent (could be 35 percent or more if properly sized). 90 percent of customers using these are very satisfied, and many suggest Nfld Power should provide rebates to encourage these (as other provinces have done). Nova Scotia installed 20,000 in just one year. They call it a heating revolution. Hearings on this at the PUB (called CDM, Conservation Demand Management) is scheduled for Apr 12. At present there is no intention to provide rebates. Generally no one attends these hearings to complain. This is the venue for doing that. Or email a letter to the PUB before Apr 12. Businesses also are absent from these proceedings.... so why complain in the Telegram! Or call Tom Johnson, or email him , your consumer advocate, if high heating costs is a concern to you.

  • Jack
    March 29, 2016 - 09:38

    Make Nalcor pay for the cost overruns, not the ratepayer. To give them a rate hike to cover the Muskrat Falls cost overruns is tantamount to giving a bad boy an allowance.

  • Meow
    March 29, 2016 - 09:29

    Sell the power to who? Nobody has answered that question. They keep saying they'll sell it, but we have no buyers. They tried to sell it to New Brunswick last year and they passed on it because it isn't considered firm power (meaning NL can't guaranty it) so it is essentially useless excess power that will be sold back to Newfoundlanders through a rate hike. Muskrat Falls + oil crash = bankruptcy for the province. If you're young, move out of the province. The next 10 years are going to be tragic.

  • OTP
    March 29, 2016 - 09:07

    St Peter don't you call me cause I can't go... I owe my soul to the Muskrat Falls Flow.The reality is that the project will cost between 500 million and 1 billion per year. Divided amongst 200 000 customers works out to about $ 2500 to $ 5000 per year or $200 to $400 per month increase in the power bill.This is the couse set by our elected members in government.We had noone who looked at the risks or the downside potential. Now we must suck it by and try to survive... good luck to us all.

    • james
      March 29, 2016 - 10:30

      So what is your opinion on Rhodes Scholars

  • Ed
    March 29, 2016 - 08:52

    If I recall properly this project was first estimated at about $5 billion, by the time it was approved it was up to $6.2B, now we are told that it is uncompleted at a cost of $7.65M and expected to cost $9B. I will be surprised if the total cost of this project (including cost of borrowing up to point of completion) ends up much less than $11B. Where else would people running a company or a project like this survive being responsible for managing a disaster of this scope - only in the public sector. It's time for Ed Martin and Gilbert Bennett at a minimum to be held to account and removed from their jobs. Lets get some project management in there who have a proven track record in managing disasters, that's what Muskrat Falls has become under their management.

  • Roena Marshall
    March 29, 2016 - 08:46

    Why should we pay more when there are always power outages? Dump muskrat falls & keep the province from being bankrupt.

  • Ev
    March 29, 2016 - 08:44

    I have electric heat and in the winter I'm hitting $400.00 plus a month, so with the new rates I'll be close to double that. Might be cheaper to turn my heat down to just keep my pipes from freezing and move to Florida for the winter months. Some small businesses, if there are any left, will be forced out of business, especially if demand rates follows suit, they are 86 times higher than the regular rate now.

  • James Ash
    March 29, 2016 - 08:37

    Well I guess people will be cold. I for one will turn my heat on only when needed, and use my wood stove. Our once fine province gets greedier every year. People are going to suffer.

  • robert gill
    March 29, 2016 - 07:38

    How do you get a 53% increase?My current rate is 10.573 cents per kwh so at 19.8 cents, the increase would be 87% !

    • Denise
      March 29, 2016 - 11:05

      That's the new math they are trying to teach the kids in school....

    • Ratepayer
      March 29, 2016 - 11:07

      Robert you did the math correct,,,the person that calculated a 53% increase must of been one the people that miscalculated the total cost of the ratepayers we bear the total cost,and even if we try to cut back on our power usage the rate will go higher,,,we are screwed ,,,,oh well back to the woodstove ,lantern and candles,,,as long as the gov.will let us cut firewood,,so much for being a have province,,

    • What?
      March 29, 2016 - 13:11

      Robert. You'd need to dig up that old 'Icon of Incompetence', Joan Burke to explain that one.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    March 29, 2016 - 07:20

    What a 'clear and transparent' comment from the Minister !! Technically accurate and highly misleading at the same time. The fact is that it is the Cabinet (not the PUB) that sets what part of the final rate (that will indeed be set by the PUB) that will be charged for Muskrat. Once cabinet sets that Muskrat rate, then the PUB sets the final rate. The PUB has no choice but to include into that final whatever Muskrat price the Cabinet demands.

  • paul
    March 29, 2016 - 07:09

    I am going back to burning wood next year. no matter what I do to make my home more efficient, the cost keeps rising. I put in an electric furnace a few years ago, took out the oil furnace, thinking I was being this. so much for going green, this massive costly hydro project WILL force many people to find other heating source including wood, oil, propane, etc...not green. but we have to be able to afford to heat our homes ,and its not just the 'poor' but middle class with lots of bills to pay...mortgages, loans, kids in college... no choice but to reduce my hydro usage.

    • Jim
      March 29, 2016 - 08:41

      Me too Paul. Swapped out the oil for electric furnace. Oil is cheaper now, for now but rest assured it will balance itself out again. I figure I am further ahead now when I look at the combined years where I was being pillaged by the oil delivery companies. And yes - I burn wood - all the time. No choice.

  • maderighthere
    March 29, 2016 - 06:59

    "Danny Dumaresque, a former MHA and an outspoken advocate on electricity issues in the province,..." where is ole Danny Boy these days? On another note ...Eddy Joyce was always in the news blabbering about nothing ...except the needed hospital... where is he now?

  • phil earle
    March 29, 2016 - 06:48

    Muskrat Falls Hydro Project is a creation who's outcome will be the impending Financial Dooms Day for residents of NL. What a beautiful, brilliant piece of work conceived and implemented by all our elected government officials, starting with the Williams government right up to the present Liberal Ball government. The financial dysfunction of this derelicted monstrosity hydro project will lay waste upon our little province and will make the pain of what we are being robbed out of in Churchill Falls seem like nothing more than that of a blister on the toe. Is there a business construction project anywhere in the modern civilized world, and its recent past, that can match the Muskrat Falls non transparent arrogant ethics of power or its wondering maleficent Hydra headed financial misadventure? If a group of elementary school children had been requested in the beginning to plan and supervise the Muskrat Falls project I submit they would never have created the archaic hairy woolly mammoth that Muskrat falls is now! At least they would have asked their parents for sound advice as to how to proceed and no doubt the first thing any, common sense parent would do is ask for supervision from the PUB. Ah now, common sense there's something new, at least it's new to our government because they are with out one single dot of it. If a business fails, or goes bankrupt, you lose your shares, money and any pensions the company may have for you, and this is what should happen to every single government member who has signed on to the Muskrat Falls project because it is a failed project. It is a failed project because it can never make a profit from the original investment and only can be made viable in future, kept afloat, by the public paying every absorbingly increasing hydro-electic rates. It is a fact that members of out government make in the six figure range and most will receive a nice five figure pension when out of government so if their electrical home bill is $300 or $700 a month in future so what they can easily pay for it, but it is a totally different situation for 100,000 of our senior citizens on fixed incomes that can't afford the $150 bill they have at present! What does this speak to? In my mind it means not only does our government not have common sense they don't have an ounce of compassion for anyone. Truth be know the people who perpetuated this fraudulent scam on our people should be tried in the criminal Courts of Law. phil earle, carbonear.

    • Maurice E. Adams
      March 29, 2016 - 09:05

      Great comment Phil. Very well said indeed.

    • What?
      March 29, 2016 - 12:47

      The idea that the same ones who forced this catastrophic disaster on us will retire with fat, gold-plated, cost-of-living-increase protected pensions, that will also be paid for by us, makes me sick to my stomach.

  • John Smith
    March 29, 2016 - 06:39

    The costs for the project have increased, but to say they have ballooned, and costs have skyrocketed are sensationalist at best. The project stands at 7.65 billion...not 10, not 15 not 20 billion...but 7.65......We have gotten used to very cheap power here, because we have been able to depend upon a 50 year old generator that was paid off years that generator is falling apart, and needs to be replaced, and we will have to pay for a new one. Why? Because no one else is going to pay for it...that's why. This morning in Boston the price per KWH is 30 New York it is 27 Nova Scotia it is almost 17 cents, and we pay around an average of 12 cents a KWH. We will have to pay around 17 18 cents a KWH when MF power comes on stream....this could be lower if we use sales of power, and reduce the dividend that Hydro receives....and in 2020, paying anything under 20 cents a KWH should be considered reasonable. Our power bills were going to go up no matter what...because we need new sources of generation, and we...yes we, will have to pay for that. Whether it was fixing up Holyrood, and building small dams, or using butterflies and rainbows...we would have to face increases in our bills...and that is a fact many would like to dismiss. It is so easy to sit back and say the sky is falling because of this Project....when in reality no matter which way we went we would see 16-18 cents a kwh power rates. This project was and is the best answer to our coming energy needs, getting off fossil fuels, paying into our own resource, and having an environmentally responsible project that will provide power not for 20, or 50 years...but for the next 100 years.

    • Tim
      March 29, 2016 - 08:52

      I think its unfair to make the comparison with Boston where there are almost 100 brokers of electricity where we have just the one. As for fossil fuels to heat my home while residing in upstate New York I heated my home for pittance with natural gas - another choice we do not have.

    • Maurice E. Adams
      March 29, 2016 - 09:39

      Our 2015 energy use was less than what we used in 2004. We now have about 200 MW of capacity MORE THAN we had in 2004 (about 60 MW of wind, 110 MW combustion turbine, and others) , due to low oil prices cost per KWh from Holyrood is down 42% (about 10 cents/KWh) since 2012 ---- so why do we need high cost Muskrat?

    • Thomas
      March 29, 2016 - 09:46

      Listen up John - All I wanted was three questions answered. No one has been able to come forward and do. And it scares the hell out of me 1. When will the completion date be? 2. What will the final cost be? 3. How much more will It cost me a month

    • Meow
      March 29, 2016 - 09:53

      It isn't just 7.65 billion. It's 7.65 amortized over 40 years at 3.8%. We're looking at close to or over 13 Billion dollars by the time we're finished, for only 864MW of power during peak producing months. I point out peak producing months because it will be significantly less in Feb-April months when we need the power due to water flow of the river during those months. Overall, Muskrat Falls is an absurd project and we're in trouble because of it.

    • Wallace
      March 29, 2016 - 09:55

      your numbers per KWh are wrong from those jurisdictions. Where are you getting them from Mr. Smith

    • Spaz
      March 29, 2016 - 10:03

      LOL. Misleading the public again I see.

    • What?
      March 29, 2016 - 12:37

      More ridiculous BS from Ed Martin's alter ego - John Smith. A quick internet search produces this: The average residential electricity rate in Boston is 14.91¢/kWh. ( The average residential electricity rate in New York is 23.21¢/kWh. And: the U.S. National average rate is 11.88¢/kWh. Just give it up Smith. No one is buying your BS.

    • George
      March 29, 2016 - 13:12

      Hello GodGuardTheeNL. Where do you get the rates that you quote? My research reveals numbers far lower than what you claim.

    • roy206
      March 29, 2016 - 13:52

      Comments need to have signatures to have any credibility, The math defies logic on MF. And FYI, elect rates in Quebec are about 1/2 of ours. And " profits" from MF being talked about and the project less than 50% complete..come on, ..

    • Figgy Duff
      March 29, 2016 - 15:14

      John why are you defending This Hydro Project. You certainly do not know the price of electricity in the US. Below is the average price paid in each state. The typical US household would pay about $73 for electricity each month. Rank State Price (in cents) 1 Idaho 8.0 2 North Dakota 8.1 3 Washington 8.2 4 Arkansas 8.7 5 Utah 8.8 6 Louisiana 8.9 7 Wyoming 8.9 8 South Dakota 9.0 9 Nebraska 9.0 10 Kentucky 9.0 11 West Virginia 9.2 12 Oklahoma 9.2 13 Oregon 9.4 14 Montana 9.6 15 Missouri 9.7 16 Tennessee 9.8 17 Indiana 10.0 18 North Carolina 10.2 19 Mississippi 10.3 20 Iowa 10.5 21 Kansas 10.5 22 Virginia 10.5 23 New Mexico 10.7 24 Minnesota 10.9 25 South Carolina 11.0 26 Arizona 11.1 27 Georgia 11.1 28 Alabama 11.1 29 Colorado 11.2 30 Ohio 11.2 31 Texas 11.3 32 Illinois 11.7 33 Florida 11.7 34 Nevada 11.7 35 Michigan 13.0 36 Wisconsin 13.0 37 Pennsylvania 13.2 38 Maryland 13.7 39 District of Columbia 13.7 40 Delaware 13.7 41 Massachusetts 14.8 42 Rhode Island 14.9 43 California 15.2 44 Maine 15.5 45 Vermont 16.1 46 New Jersey 16.3 47 New Hampshire 16.5 48 Alaska 17.5 49 Connecticut 18.1 50 New York 18.1 51 Hawaii 33.2 Facebook Twitter Google+ Email

  • Tapped out
    March 28, 2016 - 21:46

    This is very scary for all rate payers! No increases in wages, job losses on the horizon and rates in electricity are out of control and no one answers as to how people are to live. This Musgrat Falls project was a superb idea! The cable crowd should come on board now and take whatever is left over from Muskrat Falls and think of their own stupid project to rip off or finish off Newfoundland. We're sinkin bys!

  • roland fewer
    March 28, 2016 - 20:27

    The reason there are high numbers of seniors in NL receiving GIS? Many of them are smart at hiding their wealth. In other words, they have their cake and eat it too!

  • Duffy
    March 28, 2016 - 20:11

    Ole Ed Martin doing his thing as Danny, the other lady and the cop (can't remember their names) all took off for greener pastures. BUT do not worry as chances are NL will have be declared bankrupt and be poor, broke, no commerce or have no new business for generations. They were like kids with a nickel in their pockets and had to spend spend spend. Folks look for hard times in the future.............and keep the wood stove!

  • Figgy Duff
    March 28, 2016 - 20:10

    I think you will find that this is not the lower Churchill! It is Muskrat Falls. If it were the Lower Churchill It would produce a lot more power and be worth a lot more money

  • Concerned NL'r
    March 28, 2016 - 20:00

    This is ridiculous an increase of this magnitude over 4 years. How is this good is any way for the NL consumer? Sounds like it is good for fortis and their shareholders!!! I'd say drop the dividend and cut executive pay for this collosal blunder.

  • poor senior
    March 28, 2016 - 19:05

    The light bill will increase. the thermostat gets turned back and people will suffer. all in the name of a former premier and his need to feed his ego with a 9,000,000,000 tab to the taxpayer and his "spat" with quebec

  • Marce
    March 28, 2016 - 17:50

    The Telegram reached out to government communications March 23 regarding this story. The following statement was received shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday, attributed to Minister Coady: “The Public Utilities Board is responsible for the regulation of electric utilities in our province to ensure that the rates charged are just and reasonable. Final electricity rates after Muskrat Falls would be set by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities through a future general rate application. As part of government’s mandate, we are committed to selling surplus power generated from Muskrat Falls and to use that revenue to mitigate increases in electricity rates. After the rate application has been filed, government will review the proposed rates and determine the level of mitigation required. AND that just summed up the the head person of the Power board just said!! So,,, no new answer really...

    • Maurice E. Adams
      March 29, 2016 - 12:14

      I appreciate that. However, as I understand it, legislation passed by the previous government REQUIRED (as a prerequisite to the loan guarantee) rates to be set by government that will ensure that they are sufficient to meet the debt servicing requirements of Muskrat Falls. WHile final 'rates' are set by the PUB, the portion of those rates attributed to Muskrat is set by government. ----- SO my point is that government's reply to The Telegram was convoluted and I would suggest intentionally so, so as on a quick read, one would think that Muskrat rates will gave to go through and set by the PUB (which is misleading) ---- I understand that the last part of the article is a quote from government, and it is government, not The Tele, that is obfuscating (if that is the right word).

  • Brian
    March 28, 2016 - 17:23

    Former premier Williams is the reason why we are on the hook for Muskrat Falls . Mr. Martin was instructed by former premier Williams to make it happen and that is what Mr. Martin is doing . Mr. Williams is not an expert and made a calculated decision based on poor and shortsighted logic and Mr. Martin ( possibly ,not the sharpest knife in the drawer ) bungled the planning,the timeline and the cost. Here we are , we were alerted years ago that this would happen and the John Smiths of the world continue to deny the inevitable but Muskrat Falls is a colossal blunder and will impact the province negatively for at least 50 years.

  • Ratepayer
    March 28, 2016 - 17:09

    Cut our losses and pull the plug. Muskrat Falls is no longer a low cost option. I, for one, will be monotoring my electricity use closely and if the option is throwing another dog on the bed, so be it.