Public hearings set to begin on N.W.T. power rate hikes

·1 min read
A power line in Colville Lake, N.W.T. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation is applying to increase power rates across the territory. (CBC - image credit)
A power line in Colville Lake, N.W.T. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation is applying to increase power rates across the territory. (CBC - image credit)

The board that sets power rates in the N.W.T. is holding public hearings in Yellowknife Thursday and Friday evening on proposed price increases.

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation has asked the territory's public utilities board for rate hikes that vary between 2.5 and 10 per cent from region to region for each of the next two years.

It would add roughly $12 on average to customers' bills at the end of those two years, once costs are offset by a territorial subsidy.

"While I understand that nobody likes to see prices go up for any service or good, it is unfortunately a reality that we all face," said Doug Prendergast, the manager of communications for the power corporation.

"NTPC is facing a shortfall in revenue, and the way that it gets its revenue is through electricity rates."

Earlier this year, the power corporation said current rates don't cover the cost of delivering electricity, partly because sales are declining, infrastructure is aging and more extreme weather events are happening.

In May, the public utilities board approved an immediate, interim rate increase of 2.5 per cent in several regions.

This week, the first public hearing runs from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening, with a second session set for Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Both will happen at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre in Yellowknife.

People outside Yellowknife who want to participate can go to the town office in Fort Smith, the Heritage Hotel in Norman Wells or the Midnight Sun Complex in Inuvik to join the hearings remotely, or — if they registered in advance for the hearings — they can join from home.