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.
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.
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.
“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
Be the first to comment