Electrical hookup fees get a jolt

Electrical hookup fees get a jolt If you moved house since July, you may have been surprised by the cost of an electrical hookup. It now costs $50 to connect a home, up from $15. Reconnect fees are $60, up from $45.

If you moved house since July, you may have been surprised by the cost of an electrical hookup.

It now costs $50 to connect a home, up from $15. Reconnect fees are $60, up from $45.

These fees were quietly approved by the Yukon Utilities Board earlier this year, when it considered the request by Yukon Energy and Yukon Electrical to bump up power rates.

Rates essentially remain the same for now, but an assortment of fees rose.

To dispute a power bill, it now costs $100 to have an attendant inspect your meter, up from $25. If the attendant needs to use special equipment, the cost rises to $200.

Those dispute fees are waived if a customer wins the appeal.

And bounced cheques result in a fee of $25, from $20.

These fees, which hadn’t been adjusted since 1997, reflect the rising cost of doing business, said Laura Carlson, a spokesperson for Yukon Electrical.

In jurisdictions with more modern equipment, utilities can reconnect homes with the flip of a switch at headquarters. But Yukon Electrical still needs to dispatch a worker to each home it connects, said Carlson.

The utility placed newspaper advertisements earlier this summer advising residents about the new fees. Still, some were caught off guard.

“Some people are very upset,” said Roger Rondeau, president of the Utilities Consumers’ Group. He admits to having missed the higher fees amidst the tall stacks of filings made during regulatory meetings.

“They kind of snuck it by us,” he said. “We missed it during the hearing.”

At the hearing, Rondeau was preoccupied with a push for a “consumers’ bill of rights,” which would have clearly spelled out the responsibilities of utilities and consumers, he said.