Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

The prices of ;NB Power will increase by 9.8% on April 1

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NB Power meters on a building. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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Rates for NB Power residential customers will increase on April 1, the Crown corporation announced Friday afternoon. An interim rate increase of 9.8% has been approved by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.

We will contact all customers before the new rates come into effect in the spring to help them understand the changes to their bills, NB Power wrote on X on Friday.

The increase is temporary because NB Power made a late request to the board. The latter judged that the provincial government is responsible for having caused this situation, by announcing at the last minute that it was moving from 2027 to 2029 a debt reduction target that it had set for NB Power.

The electricity distributor initially wanted permission to increase its rates by 12%. After the government gave it more time to reduce its debt, NB Power asked to allow a 9.8% increase for consumers.

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Lori Clark is President and CEO of NB Power. (Archive photo)

We have made the decision to request a provisional rate on April 1st in order to avoid a drop in revenue that would have potentially been passed on to the customer, said NB Power President and CEO Lori Clark in an email Friday.

NB Power was seeking permission to increase its rates not only to improve its financial situation, but also because of what the Crown corporation called unforeseen events, particularly the outages at the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant.

A final decision from the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board is not expected before July 1, says NB Power spokesperson Dominique Couture.

LoadingMartin St-Louis must be absent for family reasons

ELSE ON INFO: Martin St-Louis must be absent for family reasonsLoadingMartin St-Louis must be absent for family reasons

ELSE ON INFO: Martin St-Louis must be absent for family reasons

Today's decision allows us to implement the new rate until a final decision is made. If the commission decides on a lower rate in its final decision, we will adjust the invoices accordingly, she explains.

The chief Green Party leader David Coon said the increase was going to be hard to swallow for those who live paycheck to paycheck or who can't even keep their heads above water. David Coon believes it is completely inappropriate for the commission to approve an interim rate increase before holding hearings to determine why the increase is necessary. “I'm pretty shocked that the Energy and Utilities Commission would grant this rate increase without reviewing the evidence supporting the increase,” he said.

Based on reporting by Sam Farley, CBC

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