Hydro rates dropped
Public Utilities Board makes adjustment to rates based on fuel costs
The provincial utilities regulator has signed off on the annual change in power rates, meant to assure they reflect fuel prices as much as possible.
As of July 1, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro will drop its rates for direct customers, including Newfoundland Power, by about 9.5 per cent.
The change reflects the cost of oil used at the Holyrood power plant.
The idea is to pass on the actual cost of producing electricity.
But at the same time as the new decision kicks in, the HST will increase to 15 per cent from 13 per cent, and that added tax applies to power costs.
The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is still reviewing a separate change in rates, based on a broader general rate application.
Decisions on the utilities proposed rate increases are pending.
Meanwhile, power customers continue to wait for distribution of the Rates Stabilization Plan fund — a surplus pot of money that developed as a result of the shutdown of the paper mill in Grand Falls-Windsor, with Hydro suddenly able to use the hydro power from that operation to fund the island’s general customer base.
According to a Hydro spokeswoman, following a series of related legal decisions, a new draft plan for refunding the money has been completed and both utilities are preparing applications to place before the board “in the coming months.”
The PUB must then review and approve the refund plan, with no specific timeline set for that work.