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Power price drop: $1 a month

Northland Utilities makes up over-collection

Nathan VanderKlippe
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 30/02) - Yellowknife power users will pay a little less for electricity starting Sept. 1, but the change will hardly be noticeable.

In fact, the reduction amounts to about $1 a month for an average customer.

Northland Utilities applied for the rate reduction after collecting $82,535 more than needed to repay the city for rights of access to municipal electrical resources. Northland pays the city just over $500,000 a year for that right.

"Because it's based on a percentage of revenue, as you have some growth in the community, you have more people to share that cost," said Jerome Babyn, manager at Northland. "So it goes down on a percentage basis for customers."

To compensate, the company will drop its franchise tax rate from 2.865 per cent to 2.2427 per cent, beginning Sept. 1. That brings it nearer levels in 1999, when the franchise tax was at 1.9 per cent.

However, the rate could go back up to its previous level if the city changes its franchise fee.

And this minor rate cut could be completely offset by a planned price jump sought by the NWT Power Corp. It has until Sept. 5 to submit a new application for an interim rate increase to the Public Utilities Board.