Yukon power rate hike hearings begin

Lawyers and energy lobbyists are in Whitehorse today to debate a 13 per cent hike in electricity rates being called for by the Yukon Energy Corporation.

The corporation says costs are going up and it needs millions more in revenue to keep the power on.

Yukon Utilities Board chair Bruce McLennan said scheduling conflicts forced hearings to start on a holiday weekend. He said the board is looking out for Yukon ratepayers.

"We believe our involvement, even though there is a cost to these hearings, has a return to the taxpayers to make sure things are fair, equitable, transparent and the utility companies are not getting excessive profits," said McLennan.

Intervenors including the City of Whitehorse, the Yukon Conservation Society, and a citizens' watchdog group will argue against the rate hike.

Customers are already paying half the rate hike requested.

If approved, the full increase will show up on power bills in January.

The hearing is scheduled to run Monday to Wednesday at the High Country Inn.

[ [ [['xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', 11]], '27013743', '0' ], [ [['keyword', 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]