Some people who follow our energy consumption chart have been wondering recently, “why have you been using so much thermal these past few months?” There are a few reasons for this. However, before we get into them, let’s celebrate that on average, over 90% of the electricity we generate comes from renewable sources. This makes the Yukon one of the top jurisdictions in renewable electricity generation in Canada. We use thermal (LNG and diesel) to ensure we have the electricity we need when there aren’t enough renewable resources available, during emergencies and during winter peaks. In July, we had to run our diesel generators in Dawson City so that we could safely complete upgrades at our Callison substation. This meant disconnecting Dawson from the main grid and supplying electricity to Dawson residents via our diesel generators in downtown Dawson city. Having local diesel generators allows us to complete these critical projects, while still ensuring residents have the electricity they need. In August and September, we have had to use thermal for two main reasons: 1. We have had an abnormally dry August and September As seen in the Canadian Drought Outlook, conditions across the Yukon have ranged from abnormally dry to moderate drought. As a result of these dry conditions, our reservoir at Aishihik has not filled as quickly as it normally does. The Aishihik hydro plant plays an important role in the winter, providing approximately 40% of the electricity Yukoners need when demand for electricity is highest. It is also our primary hydroelectric facility that stores energy for use in the winter. For this reason, we have been using LNG to conserve water now, to ensure we have enough water for use in the winter. 2. Our Mayo A hydro plant is offline In June of this year, there was a small rockslide behind the Mayo A hydro plant. While there was no risk to public safety, out of an abundance of caution for worker safety, we made the decision to shut the Mayo A plant down. This means that electricity that would have been generated by the Mayo A plant in August and September is now being generated using LNG. We are currently working on removing the excess rock on the top layer of the slope to minimize the risk of future rockslides, and to get the Mayo A plant up and running this winter.
Yukon Energy Corporation has filed its 2023-2024 General Rate Application (GRA) with the Yukon Utilities Board (YUB). If approved, average residential and commercial bills will increase by 3% in October 2023 and another 3% in August 2024. The increases are needed so that Yukon Energy can make the investments required to reinforce the backbone of the Yukon’s existing electricity system. At the same time, the increases will also allow the Corporation to advance projects that will secure the supply of sustainable and reliable electricity in the territory, and programs that will help Yukoners take an active role in shifting peak demand for power. To make these investments, the Corporation is asking the YUB for a 14.1% rate increase to be applied over three different times in 2023 and 2024—October 1, January 1 and August 1. Rate increases and bill increases are not the same thing. By spreading the rate increase out over several months and timing each increase when other charges on electricity bills are expected to be reduced or removed, Yukon Energy is limiting the impact of the proposed rate increase on Yukoners’ monthly bills. With this approach, the Corporation is also preventing a bill increase from occurring on residential bills throughout the winter. Why does Yukon Energy need a rate increase? Significant and ongoing investments are needed in all aspects of the Yukon’s electricity system– from generation, transmission and distribution to storage and end-use programs. These investments will help to ensure the ongoing supply of safe, sustainable and reliable electricity to Yukoners. The four main drivers of the rate increase are: Growing demands for electricity. The Yukon is the fastest growing province or territory in Canada. At the same time, more Yukoners are turning to electric heat and transportation than ever before. The Yukon’s peak demand for electricity has increased by 23% in the last five years and this trend is expected to continue with an additional 36% increase in non-industrial peak load forecasted by 2030. Maintaining and upgrading the Yukon’s electricity system. Built primarily in the 1950s and 60s, Yukon Energy must continue to maintain and upgrade the Yukon’s existing electricity system. At the same time, water licences for each of the Corporation’s three hydro facilities, which supply Yukoners with more than 90% renewable electricity each year on average, need to be renewed within the next five years. Supporting the energy transition. The way Yukoners both consume and produce electricity is rapidly changing. The increased use of electric heat and vehicles, rooftop solar panels and distributed sources of solar and wind energy require investments to increase the capacity of the Yukon’s generation, transmission, distribution, and storage resources. Investments in new technologies and demand-side management programs are also needed to bolster reliability and resiliency of the Yukon grid. Rising costs of material and labour. Like other sectors in the Yukon, Yukon Energy is faced with higher costs of doing business, which stem from rising inflation, increased labour costs, and supply chain delays and constraints. More resources are also needed to direct, plan, execute and oversee the growing number of complex projects the Corporation is undertaking. What’s next? Yukon Energy’s GRA will be reviewed by the YUB. The YUB must approve any changes to electricity rates before they are applied to electricity bills. Yukoners will be able to view Yukon Energy’s application at yukonutilitiesboard.yk.ca. Quotes “This rate increase is about investing in our electricity system, as we enter a period of rapid growth and demand on the system. When deciding whether a rate increase is needed, we always look to balance sustainability, reliability and affordability. We also look at ways we can soften the impact of rate increases on Yukoners’ bills by implementing smaller increases more regularly. Ultimately, this rate increase is needed so that we can make the investments needed to maintain a reliable and resilient electricity system.” - Chris Milner, Interim President and CEO, Yukon Energy Corporation -30- Media Contact: Lisa Wiklund Manager, Communications Yukon Energy 867-393-5398 firstname.lastname@example.org