Quiet meeting for Hawkesbury Hydro rate hike review
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.