NTPC applies for refund rider because of low fuel prices

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It turns out your power bill might not be going up as much as originally thought next month.

On Friday, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) announced it had applied to the NWT Public Utilities Board (PUB) for a general rate increase.

Read: Power Rates Could Go Up 4.8% By June, 12.8% Over Three Years

If approved, it would mean a 4.8 per cent spike in the price of power effective June 1, or an additional $10 per month for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatts per hour during winter months.

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During summer months, it would mean paying an additional $6 on each bill.

That increase would be followed by consecutive four per cent increases, resulting in a total increase of 12.8 per cent over the next three years.

But on Monday, NTPC announced it had also applied to the PUB for a refund rate rider because of low fuel prices. If approved, it would decrease the per-kilowatt-hour price of electricity by 0.8 per cent over a three-year period.

Fuel prices have dropped off considerably in the past two years, resulting in a $2.5 million surplus in NTPC’s Fuel Stabilization Fund – money that will be returned to customers if approved by the PUB.

Pam Coulter, spokesperson for the power corporation, says customers should notice the refund starting next month.

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“The fuel stabilization fund is a fund that we use to keep the rates of fuel to the customer stable,” said Coulter.

“As the price of fuel and diesel goes up and down every week or every day in some cases, we don’t want to change the rates every month or week.

“With this refund rate rider, the rates have gone down so now we can actually return some of the money that people have paid.”

If the PUB approves both of the company’s requests, estimated cost increases over the next three years would be four per cent, 3.2 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively, resulting in a total increase of 10.4 per cent.

You can find residential electricity rates here.

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