Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

NB Power residential customers' bills could soon be 13.7% higher.

Anticipated increase in ;electricity in New Brunswick

An NB Power vehicle in Turtle Creek, near Moncton, last January.

Radio-Canada

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

The electricity distributor of New Brunswick is once again requesting permission to increase its rates.

This time, NB Power is pleading before the Energy and Utilities Board to increase rates by 9.8% for the next two years.

By adding the additional increase of 3% for the recovery of a discrepancy account and the end of a credit which translates into another 0.9% increase, meaning residential customers' bills could be 13.7% higher.

The New Brunswickers met on Saturday were bitter. With the rising cost of living and many other necessities, they already say they are overwhelmed.

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Marie Bordet

That's a huge increase considering that this is not the only increase that exists, says Marie Bordet. There is that of food, all the primary needs which are concerned. It makes a big difference to the budget at the end of the month.

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We are indeed talking about around $25 more per month for residential customers, or around $300 per year.

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Meggane Cappello

Meggane Cappello deplores the decline in consumers' purchasing power: $25 per month is a lot compared to average salaries. I think it could make a real difference in people's daily purchasing power.

The Energy and Utilities Commission needs to first of all authorize this increase in prices. Myriam Alarie has no illusions. We have no choice but to cut elsewhere. Where are we going to cut, we don't know, she said.

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Myriam Alarie

NB Power is in debt and has several expensive projects to complete, including the conversion of the Belledune coal-fired power station and the refurbishment of the Mactaquac hydroelectric dam.

As long as it is to invest in renewable energy, says Martin Rioux. But in nuclear power, [I agree] less.

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Martin Rioux

However, in its roadmap presented on Wednesday, the New Brunswick government is banking heavily on the use of small modular nuclear reactors – a unproven technology – to decarbonize the electricity grid.

Despite the reasons given by NB Power, the Tenants' Rights Coalition of New Brunswick thinks this increase is another hard blow for renters, mainly those with modest incomes.

I think it's upsetting for everyone, but it's going to be really difficult for many households who are facing exorbitant increases in their rent, Coalition spokesperson Matthew Hayes said in an interview.

Based on the report by Babatundé Lawani

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