A proposed 23 per cent increase in Hydro rates are not justified by increases in costs according to a US-based energy consultant.
Hydro has made a General Rate Application to the PUB that will see an increase in rates this year in addition to another increase in January of 2019 of 6.4 per cent. Hearings begin January 30th.
Douglas Bowman says the increase, if approved, will mean a substantial increase in the cost of electricity for customers, with more increases to come. He says residents are now paying about 11 cents a kilowatt hour now, which will go up to 15 cents if the increases are approved, with more increases ahead when Muskrat Falls comes online.
He says Hydro is proposing to increase rates when there isn’t a need to increase rates based on current costs.
Bowman claims what they’re doing is collect costs up-front in order to pay down the line for Muskrat Falls once it comes into place. He says it’s a Rate Mitigation Plan, to ease the transition to greater increases.
The net effect, says Bowman, is the same. As of January 1st 2021, customers will be paying 21 or 22 cents a kilowatt hour.