A reminder that you will notice a 6.4 percent increase in your electric bills starting this month.
Earlier this year, we applied to the Yukon Utilities Board for a rate increase of 6.4 percent for 2012 and a further 6.5 percent in 2013. We asked that while the YUB considers our request, we be allowed to put in place an interim increase so that we could start to address an expected revenue shortfall. The Utilities Board agreed. That interim increase will show up on your bills as Rider J.
Oral hearings into our application are scheduled for this fall, and a decision should come late this year or early next. Depending on what the YUB determines our revenue requirement should be, we will either need to refund some of the money collected through Rider J, or recover (over a period of time determined by the Utilities Board) some money as per the approved rate.
Obviously no one likes a rate increase, but there are several reasons why one is necessary at this time:
•Increased energy consumption in all sectors has strained Yukon Energy’s power grid, and has depleted the corporation’s surplus hydro. While Yukon Energy’s new hydro assets (Mayo B and the Aishihik third turbine) have helped address this problem, expensive diesel generation is still needed to supply an increasing share of the new demand.
•The cost of keeping aging infrastructure efficient, up-to-date and safe for Yukoners has increased faster than electricity rates.
•Inflation: thirteen years is a long time to go without a rate increase. Meanwhile, salaries have gone up and the cost of our materials keeps climbing. The cost of living in Yukon has gone up more than 20 percent since the late 1990s.
•Funding tomorrow’s energy: finding sufficient clean, affordable and reliable energy requires years of public and stakeholder consultation, research, engineering and project approval. All this work comes with a price tag.
We invite you to read more about the need for an increase and what we've done over the last 13 years to keep costs low.
As always, please contact us if you have questions or comments.
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