2021 Rate Application

A “nearly 0” bill increase

December 2021 update

We know that even a small increase in electricity bills can make life more difficult. That’s why on December 1, 2021,  the second stage of our 2021 rate increase will be applied when other charges come off electricity bills. This means there will be no change to what most Yukoners pay for electricity each month.

Typical Yukon Electricity Bills*

November 2020

July 2021

after 1st "increase"

December 2021

after 2nd "increase"

Residential, non-government account

(1000 kWh/month usage)

$204.00

$204.00

no change

$204.00

no change

Commercial, non-government account

(2000 kWh/month usage; 5 kW demand)

$358.84

$355.30

$3.54 reduction

$355.30

no change

*all total amounts are before rebates and taxes

Important dates:

July 1, 2021: The first stage of our 2021 rate increase was applied to electricity bills. This was the same day that Rider F (fuel) was reduced to zero. The net impact of that change was nearly zero. Average residential electricity bills stayed the same, while bills for typical business customers went down.

December 1, 2021: The second stage of the rate increase will be applied to electricity bills. This is the same day that the Yukon Energy 2017/18 GRA True-up line item on bills is removed. The net impact of this change is zero for most residential and business customers.

Early 2022: The YUB is expected to issue its final decision about our 2021 rate application in early 2022. Any final adjustment to our 2021 rate – based on the YUB’s ruling – will be made after that.

Investing in our electricity system

Being a Canadian leader in sustainable electricity requires ongoing investments in our electricity system. Between 2019 and 2021, we expect to invest more than $55 million in projects that are needed to meet future demands for clean energy, replace and refurbish the aging assets we already have, and deliver reliable electricity to Yukoners as new projects are built.

But we recognize that every dollar we spend is passed on to Yukoners in the form of electricity rates. Our Board of Directors and staff also understand that paying more for power can be hard for some Yukoners, especially during the COVID pandemic.

Our 2021 rate application asks for:

  • an 11.5% rate increase in 2021. This equates to 3.8% a year between 2019 and 2021
  • the rate increase to be implemented in two phases
  • each phased increase be added on dates that other charges are planned to come off the electricity bill or to be reduced to zero
  • the first increase be implemented July 1, 2021, when Rider F (fuel) is expected to be zero and Yukoners tend to use less electricity
  • the remaining increase be implemented on December 1, 2021 when the Yukon Energy 2017/18 True-up line item is planned to come off electricity bills.

A summary of our rate application and answers to some frequently asked questions are below. View the full rate application, register as an intervenor or an interested party, and view all regulatory documents related to this proceeding at yukonutilitiesboard.yk.ca.

FAQs

Why do we need a rate increase?

Think of Yukon’s electrical system as Yukon Energy’s “house”. It was built in the 1950s. Like any old house, it needs significant and unavoidable repairs and upgrades. In order to keep up with demand, especially during periods of peak demand in the dead of winter, it need also additions. And, like every other business, we’re facing steadily rising costs.

As a regulated utility, Yukoners pay what Yukon Energy pays to plan, build, operate and maintain Yukon’s power generation and transmission assets, and distribution equipment in the communities we directly serve. As we invest more in the electricity system and costs go up, so too must electricity rates.

Where is the money going?

Replacing and upgrading aging equipment

From 2019 through 2021, we will have spent more than $28 million to replace and refurbish assets that are at or near end-of-life.

Examples include our share of the Mayo to McQuesten Transmission Line Replacement Project, replacing one of the head gates and repairing two of the four penstocks at the Whitehorse hydro dam, refurbishing old transmission lines and implementing a new asset management system.

Meeting growing demands for power

Between 2018 and 2020, peaks demands for electricity grew by 17%. We also expect them to rise by another 40% by 2030 as Yukon grows and electricity is used more frequently for heating and transportation.

From 2019 through 2021, we will have spent more than $27 million planning and building the new supply projects needed to meet that peak demand with reliable sources of electricity.

Examples include uprating our Whitehorse Hydro #2 and Whitehorse Hydro #4 units to add capacity and generate more renewable electricity with the same amount of water, the addition of the third liquefied natural gas unit in Whitehorse, and installing the equipment needed to allow for the installation of rental diesels in Whitehorse and Faro.

Running our day-to-day business

Like other businesses, we’ve seen a steady rise in day-to-day costs of labour, materials and supplies. Increases in fuel prices alone account for 20% of additional costs we expect to incur between 2019 and 2021. Renting diesel generators each winter to protect Yukoners from prolonged power outages in case one of our large hydro units or transmission lines breaks has also contributed to higher annual operating costs.

Why are you asking for a rate increase during COVID?

Our Board of Directors and staff recognize that paying more for electricity can be hard from some Yukoners, especially during the COVID pandemic. That’s why we've worked hard to find a way for the rate increase to have little impact on electricity bills.

What our 2021 General Rate Application is proposing is a way for us to make the investments we need to replace aging assets and meet growing demands for electricity, while providing some bill stability for Yukoners, especially those on a fixed income.

What has Yukon Energy done to reduce pressure on rates?

We never lose sight that at the end of the day all costs we incur are passed on to Yukoners in the form of electricity rates. That’s why we’re always looking for opportunities to obtain government funding for the projects we undertake to minimize costs passed on to you. In 2019, we were successful in getting nearly $40 million in funding from the Government of Canada for our Peak Smart program, the Mayo to McQuesten Transmission Line Replacement Project and our new grid-scale battery.

How do Yukon electricity rates compare to other jurisdictions?

Even with our proposed rate increase, electricity rates in Yukon remain the lowest in the North.

Will rates increase again in the future?

Yes. Yukon Energy and Yukoners will need to help pay for the renewable electricity future we all want and that is needed to reduce carbon emissions in the territory. With more than $500 million in investments needed over the next 10 years, our priority remains building partnerships and obtaining government funding to help keep rates affordable.

What can I do to pay less on my bill each month?

The best way for Yukoners to reduce their electricity bill is to reduce the amount of electricity they use. Visit inchargeyukon.ca for ideas.

How can I learn more or be involved?

You can view our rate application and register as an intervenor or interested party at yukonutilitiesboard.yk.ca. We'll also be hosting a public information session about our this rate application in early 2021. Information about the date, time and location will be posted here and on our Facebook and Twitter channels when details have been confirmed.