‘No doubt some customers will be impacted’
“Hydro has been investing in the Labrador system over the last several years. In particular, with the very active economy in Labrador… so we need to make investments there to strengthen the system to maintain reliability,” says Henderson.
“We have to adjust the rates to reflect the costs of supplying electricity there in Labrador.”
According to Henderson about $39 million was spent in infrastructure and other costs in Labrador in recent years.
In terms of the proposed increases to the coast of Labrador, Henderson says those rates are impacted by the interconnected system. So if Labrador’s interconnected customers in Lab West and central Labrador are facing a rate increase, so will the coastal customers.
“Their (coastal customers’) costs are subsidized by the rate payers on the…interconnected system,” says Henderson. “So the increases these customers are seeing, and the changes in the rates, are reflective of the cost changes on the interconnected system.”
Henderson admits the price increase could have significant impact on some customers, depending on their electricity consumption. He says that NL Hydro is willing to show people ways that they can lower their amount of energy consumption.
“There’s no doubt that some customers will be impacted a fair bit,” said Henderson. “What we would like to do, to help customers, is to refer them to our ‘take charge’ program to help assist them in finding ways to save costs.”
The Public Utilities Board (PUB) will hold hearings this fall to review the majority of the requested changes, akin to the more common Newfoundland Power rate application and review process.
Ultimately, the PUB may decide not to approve the rate change as requested, calling for more minor changes or denying increases.
No dates have yet been set for the review.
“There’s no doubt that some customers will be impacted
a fair bit”