Where’s the protection?

Where's the protection? Re open letter to the public utility regulatory board regarding order 2011- 04 rate schedule 39 (industrial rates): On April 6, the Yukon Utilities Board issued the above order regarding rate schedule 39, which is the electrical r

Re open letter to the public utility regulatory board regarding order 2011- 04 rate schedule 39 (industrial rates):

On April 6, the Yukon Utilities Board issued the above order regarding rate schedule 39, which is the electrical rate to be charged to industrial/mine customers.

The board simply treated this as an administrative report and rubber-stamped it, after spending thousands of dollars on a pointless review.

The board, from its interrogatories on the rate request and reasons for the resulting decision, appeared to be most anxious that the mines may be being overcharged, even though the Yukon Energy Corporation did not provide them with an adequate cost-of-service study nor any record to prove this fantasy.

As well, this board is aware that it costs around 30 cents to provide a kilowatt hour from diesel, not the 11-cent power charged to the new customer, Alexco.

So, this board wasted thousands of ratepayer dollars on a review that only required them to look up a simple number on inflation for the past year and multiply this per cent increase to the going industrial rate.

What the Utilities Consumers’ Group wanted out of this process was that this board have the courage to acknowledge the revenue requirement they set from prior hearings would now be surpassed by this increase in demand and energy charges to the mining load income.

Logical, do you not think?

Accordingly, all other rates would then need to be lowered to ensure the revenue requirement remain neutral!

As is the norm for this board, by this order they allow the electrical utility companies to keep the extra income for themselves. Notwithstanding, if and when the companies come up short on their required revenue income, the board immediately raises our rates or takes money from our reserve funds to protect the corporate bottom line.

When will this board defend the Yukon electrical ratepayer from our monopolistic, wasteful utility corporations, government meddling and bargain-priced power rates for multinational mining interests?

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group

Whitehorse