Hay River has moved closer to an agreement with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) to distribute electricity in the community.
On Thursday night, councillors passed a motion to enter into a franchise agreement with the power corporation once the town’s current deal with Northland Utilities expires on November 30.
“After thoroughly reviewing the proposals, the town has determined that the NTPC proposal affords the town the best opportunity to reduce electricity rates within the community,” said mayor Brad Mapes in a statement.
In December 2014, Hay River decided not to renew its contract with Northland to power the community – citing cost as a chief factor.
Last spring, the town started asking for proposals from any and all power companies, sparking a fierce debate over how northern power is supplied and governed.
In the end, council deemed NTPC’s bid to be the most attractive, saying it will result in significant savings for Hay River residents.
“Customers can expect an overall decrease in Hay River’s electricity rate of about 20 percent,” stated a press release issued Thursday night.
The town says rates are made up of three components: wholesale, distribution and back-up generation.
Compared to current rates, the distribution component is expected to drop 30 percent, while the back-up generation component would be reduced in excess of 15 percent.
Next steps include determining the value of distribution assets belonging to Northland and developing a transition plan for when the current agreement expires.