Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

Power rates could rise

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 14/05) - The price of electricity in Yellowknife could be on the rise for the first time in nearly eight years.

Northland Utilities, the company that provides the city with power, submitted a proposal seeking a 1.7 percent rate increase in 2005 and 2006, according to the Public Utilities Board, which regulates the industry.

The company has faced rising capital costs in the Yellowknife area, said David Freedman, manager of regulations and business plans with Northland Utilities.

In a report submitted to the utility board, the company predicted it will spend nearly $700,000 in 2005 extending power lines into the Niven Lake and Kam Lake sub-divisions. It also predicted $3.5 million for upgrading other lines throughout the city. The proposed increase would add $542,000 to the company's coffers in 2005 and $962,000 in 2006.

The application still has to go through a lengthy approval process that will include public consultations, said Louise Larocque, secretary of the utility board.

A final decision on the proposal will not likely come until May.

If approved, the rate increase would the first since 1997, Larocque said.

Northland Utilities provided electricity to about 7,000 customers in the Yellowknife area during the 2004 financial year.

It generated nearly $27 million in revenues, with roughly $10 million coming from the residential sector.