Rates approved
Residential power bills on rollercoaster

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 04/97) - Domestic wholesale electricity rates in Yellowknife dropped by half a per cent this week, a savings expected to be passed to residential customers.

However, commercial customers are facing a three per cent hike thanks to a new surcharge.

The Public Utilities Board still has to approve Northland's retail rates, but the board's decision is considered a mere formality.

A low-water surcharge has been removed but a one-year, temporary rate came into effect this week for Yellowknifers. It's to collect $795,363 in shortfalls from fiscal years 1995-96 and 1996-97.

These changes will bring Yellowknife to within 98 per cent of its actual cost of service. The estimated increase for commercial customers in Yellowknife is 2.98 per cent.

Royal Oak's Giant Mine, which had unsuccessfully sought a break on its power bill, will end up paying 13.2 per cent more for electricity.

Miramar Con Mine, meanwhile, has a contract in place with the NWT Power Corporation from September 1989 to March 2009, so there will be no change in its rates, according to Bill Braden, Power Corp. spokesman.

Rae-Edzo and Dettah can expect an estimated increase in both domestic and commercial rates of about 15 per cent.

The Power Corp.'s commercial customers will see increases in their minimum monthly demand charge from $24.60 to $30.00.

Domestic customers will see their monthly service charges double from $6.15 to $12.