Maritime Electric applies for rate increase

·1 min read
About 80 per cent of Maritime Electric's power is purchased off-Island. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
About 80 per cent of Maritime Electric's power is purchased off-Island. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

Maritime Electric customers could see an increase in their power bills next year.

The utility has filed for a general rate increase for 2023-25. The application is before the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC).

If approved, there would be about a three per cent annual increase each year, for the next three years.

For a benchmark, Maritime Electric uses a residential customer using an average of 650 kilowatt hours per month.

That customer currently has a monthly bill of about $135. If the rate application is approved, their bill would increase to about $139 next March. Compounded, it would increase to $143 in 2024, and then to $147.50 in 2025.

'Not immune to escalating price increases'

"We're like any other business, we're not immune to inflation. We're not immune to escalating price increases," said Jason Roberts, the president and CEO of Maritime Electric.

"We have worked very hard to keep our costs down."

Energy-related costs account for 46 per cent of the proposed rate increases, according to Roberts.

The utility is also looking to spend more money on vegetation management. About half of major outages are caused by wind and tree contacts.

Maritime Electric said demand continues to grow, as people install heat pumps and buy electric cars.

Only about 20 per cent of P.E.I.'s electricity comes from Island wind farms. The rest is purchased from the mainland, including nuclear power from New Brunswick.

IRAC will release a notice of application and a timeframe for public comments.

 

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