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Jun 24  Comment

Yukon Energy’s July 1 rate increase will have little impact on Yukoners’ bills

The Yukon Utilities Board (YUB) has approved the first stage of Yukon Energy’s 2021 rate increase proposal. This decision follows Yukon Energy’s submission of its 2021 General Rate Application in November 2020, and the Corporation’s proposal that this year’s rate increase be specifically designed to have little impact on Yukoners’ electricity bills. In its November 2020 application, Yukon Energy asked that two-thirds of its proposed 11.5% rate increase (or 7.7%[1]) be applied to customer bills starting on July 1, 2021. This first stage was designed to coincide with the timing of Rider F (fuel) being reduced to zero. The net impact of stage one is “0” — on average, Yukon residential customers won’t be paying more for electricity each month. Typical business customers will see their electricity bills actually go down. “At the end of the day,” said Yukon Energy President and CEO Andrew Hall, “Yukoners need electricity, they need reliable infrastructure to deliver it and they need bill stability. We believe this approach to a rate increase helps us meet all three needs.” Typical Yukon Electricity Bills November 2020* July 2021* Difference between November & July Residential, non-government account 1,000 kWh consumption/month $204.00 $204.00 $0.00 Commercial, non-government account 2,000 kWh consumption/month (5 kW demand) $358.84 $355.30 $3.54 savings * before rebates and taxes The Corporation’s 2021 General Rate Application (GRA) outlines over $55 million in investments it expects to make between 2019 and 2021. These investments are in response to Yukon’s growing demand for electricity and the need to repair or replace aging infrastructure. Peak demand for electricity increased by 17% between 2018 and 2020 and is expected to rise by another 40% by 2030.   The 2021 GRA asks for an 11.5% rate increase in total, amounting to 3.8% a year between 2019 and 2021. Yukon Energy proposes the second and final stage of the increase be applied on December 1, 2021 when the Yukon Energy 2017/18 GRA True-up line item is scheduled to come off electricity bills. Any changes to electricity rates on December 1, 2021 must first be approved by the YUB before being applied to customer bills. The YUB’s review of the 2021 GRA is expected to continue in the coming months after the Battery Energy Storage System proceeding wraps up. For a copy of Yukon Energy’s 2021 General Rate Application or to access all regulatory records related to this proceeding, visit https://yukonutilitiesboard.yk.ca/proceedings/yec-2021-general-rate-application/   [1] Rate and rider increases are not the same thing. The Yukon Utilities Board has approved a 10.08% interim refundable rate rider be added to bills starting July 1, 2021. Yukon Energy’s 2021 General Rate Application identifies a need for a 15.01% rider increase (which equates to a 11.5% rate increase). Calculations: 10.08 / 15.01 = 0.672; 0.672 X 11.5 = 7.7 -30- Media Contact: Stephanie Cunha Manager, Communications and Customer Service Yukon Energy 867-393-5333 stephanie.cunha@yec.yk.ca

News, Media Releases, Environment
May 13  Comment

May update: Peak water level forecast for Marsh Lake and other hydro basins

Lots of rain last summer and heavy snowfall this winter has resulted in high snowpack levels in each of the watersheds that feed our reservoirs. what high snowpack means for water levels On their own, snowpack levels don’t paint the full picture of how much water will flow into lakes year to year. Rain and glacier melt play important roles too. So does the timing of each of these inflows and the natural limits of how much water can pass through a hydro dam. forecasted summer peak water levels Marsh Lake – 656.78 m Forecast: Above Full Supply. 4 cm lower than the peak water level forecasted in March 2021. 56 cm lower than peak water levels during the 2007 flood. Comparable to peak water levels in 2004. Mayo Lake – 665.84 m Forecast: At Full Supply. Aishihik Lake – 915.16 m Forecast: At Full Supply what we have done to draw down Marsh Lake Since March, our inflow model has forecasted that water levels on Marsh Lake will be higher than normal this summer. Because of that, we have taken the following steps to increase flows through the Whitehorse Rapids Generating Station and to lower levels on Marsh Lake: Opened up the gates at the Lewes River Control Structure. All 30 gates at the Lewes River Control Structure have been open since March 19, 2021. Gradually lowered water levels on Schwatka Lake by 95 cm to increase water flows through Miles Canyon. Our water use licence only allows us to lower Schwatka Lake by 1 m. Opened the boat lock at the Lewes River Control Structure. Since March 1, 2021, we have drawn down Marsh Lake by more than 1.25 metres, and to levels comparable to this time last time. Our inflow model suggests that water from the spring melt (also known as freshet) started to enter Marsh Lake around May 7 this year, about two weeks earlier than normal.  Our actions so far have helped to limit how much Marsh Lake has risen since freshet, but residents in the Southern Lakes area can expect to see water levels slowly start to rise again in the coming weeks. changes this summer Throughout the summer, we’ll continue to do what we can to keep flows through the Whitehorse dam high and levels on Marsh Lake as low as possible. The boat lock will remain open this summer. Small watercraft wanting to pass by the Lewes River Control Structure will need to portage around the structure. Lake levels on Schwatka Lake will also remain at reduced levels throughout the summer. Some docks may need to be lowered to allow users to access floatplanes on the lake. update on our water use licence On April 28, 2021, the Yukon Water Board approved our application for an emergency amendment to our Whitehorse Rapids Generating Station water use licence. The amendment allows us to draw down Marsh Lake 10 cm below the permitted Low Supply Level this year, with conditions that we monitor and report back on how the environment responded to the lower lake level. Unfortunately, because of the early freshet and with water from the spring melt already entering Marsh Lake, it’s unlikely that we will be able to reach this new reduced level this spring. looking ahead Over the next several months, we’ll keep a close eye on lake levels on Marsh Lake and downstream of the dam. We will also continue to work with Yukon government’s Water Resources Branch and Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) to assess water levels and to share information with the public.

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