Reforms needed for utilities board

Reforms needed for utilities board Open letter to the Yukon Utilities Board: On June 2 the Utilities Consumers' Group sent you a copy of our Part V energy strategy research paper on consumer perspectives for regulatory reform in the Yukon for your consi

Open letter to the Yukon Utilities Board:

On June 2 the Utilities Consumers’ Group sent you a copy of our Part V energy strategy research paper on consumer perspectives for regulatory reform in the Yukon for your consideration. You wrote back: “Please be advised that your document will not be distributed to the board members, as the board does not consider matters that are outside of a proceeding.”

So our organization filed this as an investigation under the Public Utilities Act on June 6. The board sent an acknowledgement of receipt of the investigation request correspondence. We waited some three months with no further response, so we sent for an update. Your reply: “Please be advised that the board has no plans of providing any further response to UCG’s correspondence noted.”

As our regulatory costs spiral out of hand, you simply dismiss a possible solution to help curtail these costs. For example, your own board costs have convoluted some three-fold from prior norms, for the latest three processes, which you exercised authority over: $236,213 for the Yukon Energy rate increase hearing, $232,795 for the Yukon Electrical general rate increase and $158,537 to bless Yukon Energy’s multi-million dollar liquefied natural gas plant.

This is on top of thousands in core expenses, paid by the Department of Justice, through our tax base.

It would appear by all of this that you have no personal incentive to make the necessary changes in the regulatory regime that would cut costs for the electrical ratepayers. You, as board members, should be the first to embrace such cost cutting measures!

Several years ago, our organization wrote to the minister responsible for your board, noting the possibilities of increasing costs to provide for a board member who lives outside of the territory, as well as one who lives in Dawson, who’s travel and accommodation expenses would be sizeable. This is on top of paying thousands of dollars for several authorities you rely on, flown in from Alberta, to fill your deficiencies!

We respectfully request you look at providing transparency for all board remunerations and related costs so as to justify this to the ratepayers of electricity in the Yukon. We also request you immediately embrace regulatory reform by sending a public response to this very important matter!

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read