Qulliq Energy Corp. says proposed rates structure would be more ‘equitable’

Nunavut’s electricity provider wants to charge all customers same rate, regardless of location

The QEC is looking to change its pay system to a territory wide model so that smaller communities do not have to pay a higher electricity rate than larger ones, QEC president and chief executive officer Rick Hunt said. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Qulliq Energy Corp., is looking to change the way it bills customers for electricity from a community-model to a territory-wide one, a move it says will be more equitable to its customers.

Under the current structure, residents and businesses are charged different rates based on which community they’re located in. A territory-based structure would see all customers of the same type charged the same rate regardless of where they are located, QEC says in a statement about its general rate application on its website.

By having each community paying different rates for electricity, the smaller communities that have to pay higher rates are at a disadvantage, QEC president and chief executive officer Rick Hunt said in a statement to Nunatsiaq News.

Nunavut’s energy provider proposed its rate structure change in an application to the minister responsible for QEC. The company has applied to increase the overall electricity rate by 5.1 per cent, which is an increase of 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

For residential customers who use 700 kilowatt hours a month, that will increase monthly bills by $11.

This is the lowest increase his organization has applied for since its inception in 2001, Hunt said.

A territory-wide application will also change the rates charged to commercial customers as well.

Since Iqaluit has the lowest commercial electricity rate in the territory, its commercial rates would increase under the new proposal by 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which would result in an increased monthly bill of approximately $52 for businesses that use 2,000 kilowatt hours a month.

That increase in Iqaluit’s commercial rates will help offset the 5.1 per cent increase in the overall rate.

To make the changes to residential and commercial customers feasible, QEC is asking the rate for government customers to increase. That increase is not specified.

The increase in government rates will help offset the considerably higher rates commercial customers pay in smaller communities, such as Whale Cove. Under the proposed new rate structure, commercial customers in Whale Cove would pay approximately $1,303 less per month on electricity, based on 2,000 kilowatt hours of consumption.

Currently, non-government commercial customers in Whale Cove pay 112.8 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 48.3 cents per kilowatt hour in Iqaluit.

“It is unreasonable to expect commercial customers in Whale Cove to pay more than double the cost for power than commercial customers in Iqaluit,” Hunt said.

The average commercial customer in Nunavut pays an average electricity rate of 81.2 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to an average of 21 cents per kilowatt-hourthroughout the rest of Canada.

Nunavut’s energy provider is encouraging Nunavummiut to take part in the review of its rate application by providing feedback to the minister responsible for the Utility Rates Review Commission. The period for submitting input ends on June 17. The proposed rate change would be implemented on Oct. 1.

Correction: This article has been updated from a previous version to indicate that the increase in Iqaluit’s commercial rates is to help offset the  overall 5.1 per cent increase, while the increase in government rates is to help offset commercial rates in smaller communities. 

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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    There goes My increase in pay, which will probably be implemented on Oct 1 🙁

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  2. Posted by Just a little bit of digging on

    “To make the changes to residential and commercial customers feasible, QEC is asking the rate for government customers to increase. That increase is not specified.”

    Lazy reporting is lazy.

    All the details, including all the proposed government, commercial and residential rates are available in the documents here.

    https://www.qec.nu.ca/customer-care/general-rate-application

    I found this by searching for “general rate application” on QEC’s website.

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  3. Posted by 867 on

    The rate is a 5.1% increase. Almost all power in Nunavut is heavily subsidized and in most cases, power bills are cheaper in Nunavut than they are down south. I would ask QEC how many people still refuse to pay their bills on a monthly basis knowing darn well QEC cannot cut their power off?

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    • Posted by Bert Rose on

      But QEC Canandaigua does put limiter meters on houses where bills are unpaid.

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    • Posted by Rates are not cheaper….. on

      Ontarios off-peak is 8.2cent and can go up to 17cents on-peak.
      QECs current subsidized rate for residential is 29.28 cents and its being suggested to increase to 30.79 cents.

      So no the rates are not cheaper then southern Canada even with the subsidy….

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    • Posted by Atatsiak on

      QEC strictly enforces it’s policies with respects to power limiters. Don’t pay your power bill so you can experience it yourself, maybe.

      Also, just maybe; think before you speak?

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  4. Posted by Northern Guy on

    So Qulliq proposes making everything in Iqaluit more expensive so that Whale Cove with about one fifth of the population and maybe two commercial enterpises can pay less? Even as I write this out it sounds incredibly stupid. Do they even understand the concept of per capita delivery costs?

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    • Posted by Southerner in the North on

      Do you even understand that we are trying to develop as a Territory and not just as Iqaluit? As an Iqaluit resident, I have no problem paying slightly higher electricity rates so the residents of Kugaaruk don’t have to keep paying double what I do.

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      • Posted by Still here on

        Capitalism or socialism? I guess paying my taxes and my bills and trying to be a productive citizen has gotten me no farther. Sad but these are the times now, we better get used to it.

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        • Posted by Southerner in the North on

          Shake your head. This type of cross subsidization takes place in every industry where there is only one provider. Do you really think Amazon is charging Nunavummiut the full cost of shipping? It’s the customers in urban areas who subsidize the shipping to remote areas like Iqaluit. I guess Amazon must be the leading edge of the socialist hoards.

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          • Posted by still here on

            comparing a necessity to a product driven sales company, yeah i am shaking my head, but at you 🙂

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      • Posted by Mikhangryfortendies on

        It’s subsidize, by the government cause we keep Nunavut (Canada’s largest land mass and rishest in minerals ) Canadian . If feds don’t want to spend the money for people that live here, than maybe Nunavut should seek out another country like Denmark.

        At this point, even being born n raised here, I have no plans to stay. Quality of life is like 3rd world .

        This inuk will be moving south for greener , cheaper pastures

    • Posted by Atatsiak on

      It’s not just about Whale Cove, it’s every other community in the territory.

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    • Posted by Consistency on

      With increasing some communities rates by a little they are able to really help the other communities. the extra $52 / 2000kw in a month is minimal for a business. but $1,303 / 2000kw in savings that could mean expanding their business and possibly giving more hours of work to an employee.

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  5. Posted by Sam on

    Northern Guy …Again, it’s the lazy reporting and the lack of making an effort to review the material made available, that results in inaccurate information. If you review the material on QEC’s website, it is clear that Iqaluit rates are solely being increased to recover the 5.1% increase. Actually, all residential customers across Nunavut will see a 5.1% increase. This is because the subsidy program is driven by Iqaluit’s rates and the subsidy program has a residential customer throughout Nunavut paid the same rate.
    Again, for commercial customers, the increase is solely to address the 5.1% increase, it’s not to help offset lowering rates in the other communities. What QEC is proposing is to treat all commercial customers equally as well and to do so it wishes to lower all other communities to the Iqaluit rate. To offset the loss they propose to increase government rates not Iqaluit rates. It sounds incredibly stupid that a Government owed utilities would not treat the people of Nunavut equally for an essential service, like is done elsewhere in Canada.

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  6. Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

    The GN/QEC have attempted this single rate cash grab for years and it looks like they will finally succeed. They want to sell this as a more equitable charge for all regions of Nunavut. But, in reality, what will happen is that the government will save money in O and M for social housing units while homeowners in the regional centres pay more. You have to remember that 95 percent of homes in communities outside Iqaluit are publicly owned and government pays the power bill. So this new territory wide “equitable” rate means government saves money out in the communities and Iqaluit homeowners and businesses pay more.

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  7. Posted by Name withheld on

    A lot of residence from Iqaluit, namely those that just arrived there in the past year do not understand the excessive cost of living the smaller communities pay, higher travel cost, freight, groceries and so on.

    Smaller communities do not have the economy, GN positions, jobs and yet the social assistance they receive is exactly the same as one who lives in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.

    It’s about time the electricity rate is looked at.

    And please don’t not say they can easily relocate to these larger communities as they are all short of housing.

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  8. Posted by Home Owners on

    I hope owners have been taken into consideration. As a home owner in Rankin Inlet, our monthly bill does go as high as $1200.00, with no reasonable explanation. Rankin Inlet has one of the lowest rates because we have equipment in our houses that require to have electricity 24 hours a day, water circulation pumps. Government of Nunavut need to review their subsidy rate for public housing. Public housing tenants could go with a slightly high monthly bill from QEC.

    If QEC go this route, they need to get rid of their estimates when they can’t see the meter or there’s a dog that cannot get any closer than 6 feet from the meter. No more estimates or, at the very least, work with customers when QEC makes a mistake rather than telling customer ” it’s our mistake, we made the kistake, but we can’t do anything about it, you still have to pay for our mistake, thanks to our mistake, your next bill will be lower”.

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    • Posted by Rankin rates on

      $1,200? how?
      I too am a Rankin homeowner and we also have the water circulation pumps on 24/7 during the winter months, truck plugged in during the night, charging multiple electronics, and highest bill I seen was $250.

      • Posted by Home Owners on

        I would love to learn how. All winter long our bills were under $300, then a $1200 bill. Nothing we can tell to have a high bill. All winter long, we had 2 vehicles plugged from the time they’re turned off to when we start them the next morning. We have LED lighting, 5 star energy appliances. I wish I knew our first bill with vehicles plugged in less, lights on less, furnace running less, was $1200

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