N.L. Power says rates meet ap­proval of Pub­lic Util­i­ties Board

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - Martineblue­news@gmail.com

that would im­pede us from pay­ing you any more of what we do owe you.”

Prior said he is “about to go bankrupt and is at his wit’s end with N.L. Power.”

He also wor­ries that when Muskrat Falls comes on stream; say­ing only the rich will be able to pay their power bills.

“If they can do it to me right now, next week they will do it to you,” Prior said. “There are se­niors who can’t af­ford to pay their bills now, let alone when it dou­bles. Gro­cery stores have cool­ers, so if their bills go up, our gro­ceries will skyrocket, gas, Ma­rine At­lantic, ev­ery­thing is go­ing to bounce off this elec­tric­ity.”

The South­ern Gazette con­tacted N.L. Power. Spokes­woman Michele Cough­lan in­di­cated that while she couldn’t speak to Prior’s case di­rectly for pri­vacy con­cerns, she could ad­dress two main ques­tions.

On the mat­ter of why an empty struc­ture is charged a com­mer­cial rate, Cough­lan wrote via e-mail:

“The ap­pro­pri­ate com­mer­cial elec­tric­ity rates would ap­ply when the prop­erty is con­nected. There are sev­eral cat­e­gories for com­mer­cial cus­tomers de­pend­ing on their us­age and en­ergy re­quire­ments. “New­found­land Power has to build its elec­tric­ity sys­tem, and pro­vide the power lines and equip­ment to meet cus­tomer de­mand, or the max­i­mum elec­tric­ity us­age they re­quire at any point in time.

“Com­mer­cial cus­tomers with higher de­mands or en­ergy re­quire­ments are more costly to serve, re­quire more in­fra­struc­ture and elec­tric­ity rates are set to re­flect these cost dif­fer­ences.”

And on the ques­tion of how a com­mer­cial ac­count can be charged for a whole month at a higher rate, sim­ply due to a sin­gle en­ergy spike, Cough­lan ex­plained, “A de­mand charge only ap­plies when the cus­tomer’s de­mand is greater than 10 kW. The charge is based on the max­i­mum elec­tric­ity re­quired at one point in time dur­ing the month and is de­ter­mined based on the us­age over ap­prox­i­mately a 15-minute pe­riod.

“We work closely with our cus­tomers to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on how they can man­age de­mand and re­duce their costs by min­i­miz­ing the equip­ment that must be on at the same time,” her email stated. “Our elec­tric­ity rates are in line with com­mon util­ity prac­tice and are ap­proved by our reg­u­la­tor, the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Board.”

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