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  • Government Rate Mitigation Plan Keeps Rates at 13.5 per kWh

    The provincial government has revealed its rate mitigation plan for the post-Muskrat era.

    Premier Dwight Ball says the Liberal Government will keep electricity rates at 13.5 cents per kWh by a number of measures, some of which have reasonably certain costs while others amount to a wild guess.

    The plan banks on increasing the number of electric vehicles, getting $200-million from the federal government, saving millions by cost cuts at Nalcor, establishing data centres near power plants, especially in Labrador, and electrifying public buildings such as schools.

    The previous government had banked on a rate of 15.3 cents but the Liberals will keep rates at 13.5 cents including the rate hike proposal before the P.U.B..

    Without any interventionist measures, the rate would be 22 or 23 cents. It currently stands at about 12.5 per kWh.

    Ottawa to Play Role

    The federal government is promising to play a role when it comes to rate mitigation.

    Premier Dwight Ball and MP Seamus O’Regan addressed that aspect of today’s announcement with reporters today.

    Premier Ball says there are transmission options when it comes to reliability—an issue they’re discussing with the PUB. As for rate mitigation, the federal government is looking at a number of options as outlined in the recent interim Liberty Consulting report.

    Eventual Reduction of Diesel Generation in the Books

    Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady says part of the province’s rate mitigation plan will include the eventual reduction of diesel generation for electricity on the the coast of Labrador and other isolated communities.

    She says they hope to cut diesel generation by 50 per cent, at a cost savings of about $7.4-million.

    She says there are currently 20 regulated diesel generation stations in the province, subsidized through the rural deficit subsidy. Government is now seeking expressions of interest from industry for renewable energy in diesel-reliant communities. It’s hoped those solutions can be in place by 2020.

    She says fuel wood supply will also be expanded to isolated communities to increase the use of high-efficiency wood stoves.

    Nalcor Salaries Under the Microscope

    Among the measures being discussed is aligning Nalcor salaries with those of government. Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady says it’s part of a larger initiative when it comes to salaries at Agencies, Boards and Commissions.

    She says as Nalcor winds down construction and moves into operating Muskrat Falls, there will be changes. Coady told reporters that all Agencies, Boards salary ranges within government.

    Nalcor officials were not on hand for today’s announcement. Minister Coady says the corporation has been fully involved in the process. She says there’s no reason as to why Nalcor was not part of today’s announcement.

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