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
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.