Saint John Energy rates to increase Saturday

Former public intervener asks to represent NB Power's residential ratepayers

Saint John Energy's customers will be paying more for electricity starting on Saturday because NB Power has increased its wholesale rates.

The rate hike for residential Saint John customers is 2.07 per cent, while general service customers will see a 1.55 per cent jump and all other rate classes, 1.77 per cent.

"This rate increase will allow us to maintain our current service levels and continue to deliver safe and reliable service to all our 36,500 customers," Saint John Energy president and CEO Ray Robinson said in a statement on Friday.

"It will also allow us to invest in the infrastructure necessary for our long-term sustainability and stability as a utility," he said.

Saint John Energy's rates remain the lowest in the region, according to the statement.

On average, residential rates are 10 per cent lower than others in the province and commercial rates are three per cent lower, it said.

But to help customers offset any additional costs incurred, the utility will continue to promote its mini split ductless heat pump rental program along with practical energy-saving tips found on its website.

​The increases stem from the Energy and Utilities Board's decision Thursday to allow NB Power to increase its rates by an average of 1.77 per cent for all customer classes, including wholesale rates.

NB Power's residential customers will see the biggest jump at 2.07 per cent, while the rate for commercial customers will go up by 0.8 per cent.

The EUB board deemed the rates "just and reasonable," and will issue reasons for its decision at a later date, a statement said.

NB Power had been seeking an overall rate increase of two per cent.