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PUB order lowers expected power rate hike for N.L.

The  Holyrood generating station, which supplies power to the St. John’s region.
The Holyrood generating station, which supplies power to the St. John’s region.

An order issued by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) Friday has put an end to any chance of an 18 per cent or more increase in power rates come Canada Day.

But a power price change is coming, the result of an annual adjustment, meant to address Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro fuel costs.

The calculation has worked out in the favour of ratepayers in some past years, but was poised to hit hard in 2017.

 

Earlier story:

PUB tackles proposed, massive power rate increase

The improvement in the expected price is the result of the PUB ordering that cash within an existing account, tied to the rate stabilization plan (the RSP Load Variation), accumulated since 2013, be applied to reduce the rate change.  

“The Board has agreed with Newfoundland Power’s submission that application of the balance owing to customers in the fund should be applied to reduce the customer impact of the July 1, 2017 rate change,” stated a spokeswoman for that utility, in an email to The Telegram. “Newfoundland Power estimates this will reduce the average rate increase for Newfoundland Power customers to approximately nine per cent to 10 per cent on July 1, 2017.”

The previously proposed change was opposed by the Consumer Advocate and Newfoundland Power, who instead promoted the use of the fund.

“The Board acknowledges that this is still a significant rate increase, but notes that it is in keeping with past increases and further that the rates have decreased by 13.2 per cent since 2015,” the PUB stated in its written order. The Board stated the approach balances the interests of the utilities and customers.

 

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

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