The Northwest Territories Power Corporation is restarting collections on overdue accounts and will start disconnecting people’s power as of November 9.
The territorial power provider had suspended collections and disconnections on March 16. In that time, more than $2 million in overdue accounts has accumulated.
NTPC distributes power for most of the communities in the Northwest Territories, except for Hay River and Yellowknife.
NTPC said in a statement the decision was made to ensure people pay for the electricity they use and people “don’t put themselves into a situation where they are unable to catch up on payments.”
“NTPC is sensitive to the economic challenges that the pandemic continues to pose for customers but cannot afford to maintain the status quo,” said Noel Voykin, President and CEO, Northwest Territories Power Corporation.
Re-introducing collections and disconnections now, “also ensures that unpaid balances aren’t subsidized by other customers through higher rates, by taxpayers or passed on to future generations,” NTPC adds in the statement.
“We will work with customers to develop realistic payment plans so that electricity service can continue uninterrupted.”
Customers who are unable to pay their electricity bill will not be disconnected over the winter months. Load limiters — which limit electricity flow so only things like heat and a few lights can be on at a time — will be used to help customers avoid running up large bills over the winter that cannot be repaid during months with lower electricity consumption.
This is “consistent with best practice” and standard throughout Canada, according to NTPC.