N.L. consumer advocate will fight proposed power rate increase

Newfoundland and Labrador's consumer advocate says Newfoundland Power's application for a rate increase that could raise residential customers' bills by 7.2 per cent is way too high, and he will fight the proposed hike in electricity rates.

"They have no competition, they are a monopoly but they keep on wanting to pretend somehow that they are entitled to these profits like companies who are truly at risk," said Tom Johnson.

"It never ceases to amaze me why application after application they come forward with these increases looking to make more in profits off their customers."

Newfoundland Power announced Friday that it's asking the provincial public utilities board to approve an average increase of six per cent, but residential customers could see their bills go up by 7.2 per cent.

Bob Pike, the manager of corporate relations at Newfoundland Power, denied that the company is seeking to increase its profits.

Pike said the company's request to raise rates comes from increasing fuel costs for generating electricity and the cost of connecting power to new homes. He said the proposed changes would make electricity rates more equitable for all customers.

If Newfoundland Power gets permission for the rate increase, rates would go up in March 2013.

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