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Power cost cuts coming
Giant Mine rates increase to subsidize cost of power

Meagan Leonard
Northern News Services
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Giant Mine is giving back to Yellowknifers by subsidizing power rates, which will result in a 2.6 per cent cut to wholesale power charges.

NNSL photo/graphic

Giant Mine will soon be paying more for power, lowering rates for other customers in the Yellowknife area. - NNSL file photo

Northwest Territories Power Corporation spokesperson Pam Coulter said the move is part of an effort by the power company to balance rates - ensuring revenue generated is within 10 per cent of how much it actually costs to generate power for a region.

"The cost for wholesale power in Yellowknife will change. It will go down about half a cent per kilowatt hour," she said. "That will make a difference depending on how much you use."

She said the company has been trying to balance rates ever since the territory took the company over from the federal government. The rate shift is part of phase two of the power corp.'s general rate application and will see cost lowered by 15 per cent for smaller businesses in Behchoko and Dettah and increased for Giant Mine.

"Where other (companies) were paying more than 110 per cent, we're bringing them down to pay closer to 100 per cent," she said, adding over the years Giant Mine was paying less than what it was costing to generate power - picking up the tab for 90 per cent of its usage. By raising Giant Mine's percentage, the rates for other consumers can be lowered.

"We're bringing them up closer to 100 per cent. So it's just balancing what it costs with what people are paying."

Coulter said she is unsure of when the new rates would come into effect, but told Yellowknifer it will have a ripple effect across the territory.

"Because the territorial power support program rates are based on Yellowknife, that means that everybody within the territory will see that same decrease," she explained.

This news comes on the heels of concern reservoir levels in the Snare River hydro system may not rise to adequate levels after the melt in July, causing cost for power to skyrocket as the city continues to rely on diesel for its power.

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