Utilities board approves rate hikes

Electricity rates are set to go up Monday. The Yukon Utilities Board made two decisions this week, both of which will see higher rates on power consumed beginning in July.

Electricity rates are set to go up Monday.

The Yukon Utilities Board made two decisions this week, both of which will see higher rates on power consumed beginning in July.

The first decision is related to Yukon Energy’s 2012 request to raise rates by 13 per cent over two years. The board has not given Yukon Energy all it asked for, approving instead an 11.01 per cent increase.

On Tuesday, the utilities board also approved an interim rate hike of 6.5 per cent based on an application by the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd., also effective July 1.

The company has requested a rate hike of 11.7 per cent over two-and-a-half years. The utilities board has yet to hear this application and has approved the smaller increase on an interim basis.

The base rates for electricity have not changed. The utility board’s decisions have been reflected as additional line items, or riders, on bills.

This will continue to be the case.

Up until now, bills included two interim rate hikes based on Yukon Energy’s application to the board.

A rider of 6.4 per cent was added in July 2012, and a second rider of 3.75 per cent was added in January 2013.

The 11.01 per cent approved by Yukon Utilities Board this week replaces these two line items.

But there will be another increase, because the board has approved higher rates over 2012 and 2013 to date than Yukon Energy had been charging on an interim basis.

This difference will be made up by a new rider of 3.6 per cent that will be in place only between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

Yukon Electrical’s interim rate hike of 6.5 per cent will also be a new line item.

What does this all mean for your bill?

It depends on how much power you use, and what sort of customer you are.

Yukon Electrical has a bill estimator tool on its website. It has not yet been updated to reflect changes that will come into effect next week.

According to a Yukon Energy blog post, a household would have paid $118.26 for 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity before July 2012.

That is a “fairly typical monthly usage,” according to the post.

That family’s most recent power bill would have been $130.36, assuming constant usage.

Beginning next week, that same amount of energy will cost $136.76.

But that estimate does not include the interim rate hike approved for Yukon Electrical.

That new rider would add $9.28 to that family’s bill, including GST, for a total of $146.04.

That’s an increase of about 24 per cent compared to just over a year ago for the same amount of power.

And rates could rise again in January, if the board agrees with Yukon Electrical’s plan.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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