Quiet mee­ting for Haw­kes­bu­ry Hy­dro rate hike re­view

Tribune Express - - ACTUALITÉS • NEWS - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

Tur­nout was sparse Mon­day eve­ning for a pu­blic in­for­ma­tion ses­sion at the Ro­bert Hart­ley Sports Com­plex about Haw­kes­bu­ry Hy­dro Inc.’s ap­pli­ca­tion for a mo­dest in­crease to its elec­tri­ci­ty dis­tri­bu­tion rate for the Town of Haw­kes­bu­ry. Less than two do­zen people oc­cu­pied the al­most-emp­ty mee­ting room and about half of those were ei­ther of­fi­cials for the uti­li­ty, the On­ta­rio Ener­gy Board, or lo­cal me­dia.

The On­ta­rio Ener­gy Board (OEB) hos­ted the Sept. 18 pu­blic mee­ting as part of the re­view pro­cess for Haw­kes­bu­ry Hy­dro Inc.’s (HHI) ap­pli­ca­tion for a flat in­crease of 15 cents on its lo­cal dis­tri­bu­tion rate for elec­tri­ci­ty to its Haw­kes­bu­ry cus­to­mers. OEB re­pre­sen­ta­tive Kris­ti Se­balj no­ted that the small tur­nout for the mee­ting was not a di­sap­point­ment.

“For the size of the uti­li­ty, it’s pret­ty re­pre­sen­ta­tive,” Se­balj said, ad­ding that OEB rate re­view mee­tings for other uti­li­ties in the pro­vince have seen lo­cal tur­nout ran­ging from as ma­ny as se­ve­ral do­zen re­si­dents and bu­si­nes­sow­ners to just two people sho­wing up for one ses­sion. “But they as­ked some good ques­tions.”

“Eve­ry cus­to­mer counts,” Se­balj said, ad­ding that re­si­dents who do not at­tend a mee­ting can still file their opi­nions with the OEB be­fore the end of a rate re­view per­iod.

Mi­chel Pou­lin, HHI ma­na­ger, pre­sen­ted a po­wer-point re­view of the uti­li­ty’s his­to­ry, ope­ra­tions, and the pur­pose for the dis­tri­bu­tion rate in­crease ap­pli­ca­tion. The uti­li­ty has a current ope­ra­tions re­ve­nue of $1,576,210 and wants that boos­ted to $1,774,699 for the 2018 rate per­iod. This in­crease would for the base re­ve­nue amount for the com­pa­ny as it be­gins the 2018-2022 term of rates for its ope­ra­tions.

Ap­pro­val means Haw­kes­bu­ry Hy­dro will be able to co­ver the cost for im­pro­ve­ments its fa­ci­li­ties du­ring the next five years, in­clu­ding up­gra­ding the Main Street trans­for­mer and al­so re­pla­cing a num­ber of po­wer poles along with other up­grades.

The rate in­crease re­quest ap­plies just to the lo­cal dis­tri­bu­tion cost, not po­wer pro­duc­tion. The flat 15-cent in­crease would start Jan. 1 2018.

Pou­lin pro­vi­ded examples of how the in­crease might look on a cus­to­mer’s hy­dro bill. For example, if the month­ly dis­tri­bu­tion cost por­tion of the bill for 2017 was $15.98 then it would be $16.13 in 2018.

The ac­tual dis­tri­bu­tion rate cost on a bill would de­pend on the cus­to­mer type.

Au­cune ob­jec­tion n’a été for­mu­lée lors de la réunion pu­blique du 18 sep­tembre au su­jet d’une lé­gère aug­men­ta­tion pour son taux de dis­tri­bu­tion d’élec­tri­ci­té. L’aug­men­ta­tion ai­de­ra à cou­vrir les coûts de rem­pla­ce­ment de po­teaux et d’autres tra­vaux de mise à ni­veau des ins­tal­la­tions au cours des cinq pro­chaines an­nées.

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