Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut January 05, 2018 - 10:30 am

Nunavut advisory body to hold meetings on QEC rate hikes

Community sessions start next week in Pond Inlet

JIM BELL
In 2011, many Iqaluit residents were opposed to the Qulliq Energy Corp.'s last attempt at creating a one-rate system for Nunavut. Here, Mike Gardener of Iqaluit speaks at a public meeting organized by the Utility Rates Review Council to complain about the rate increases that Iqaluit residents and businesses would have faced.
In 2011, many Iqaluit residents were opposed to the Qulliq Energy Corp.'s last attempt at creating a one-rate system for Nunavut. Here, Mike Gardener of Iqaluit speaks at a public meeting organized by the Utility Rates Review Council to complain about the rate increases that Iqaluit residents and businesses would have faced. "This is something of a fait accompli," Gardener said. "Whatever we say, the rates will go up for Iqalungmiut." (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

The Utility Rate Review Council will hold public meetings next week to ask people what they think about the Qulliq Energy Corp.’s latest power rate application.

The QEC submitted their plan to the Government of Nunavut this past Nov. 9.

In it, the power utility proposes moving towards a one-rate system for customers in all Nunavut communities over six years.

Right now, customers in each Nunavut community pay different power rates, based on the unique cost structure at each community power plant.

Under the QEC’s new plan, each class of customer in every community would pay the same rate by the end of the six-year implementation period.

This means customers in larger communities like Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet would see big rate hikes, while customers in small communites like Kugaaruk and Whale Cove would see rate decreases.

In a notice, the review council said that at each meeting, QEC representatives will make a presentation on their proposal, after which residents may ask questions and make comments.

The round of meetings starts Monday, under the following schedule:

Pond Inlet — Jan. 8, 2018, 7 to 9 p.m. at the community hall.

Igloolik — Jan 9, 2018, 7 to 9 p.m. at the community hall.

Cape Dorset — Jan. 10, 2018, 7 to 9 p.m. at the community hall.

Iqaluit — Jan. 11, 2018, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Anglican parish hall

Iqaluit — Jan. 13, 2018, 1 to 3 p.m. at the francophone centre.

Qikiqtarjuaq — Jan. 12, 2018, 7 to 9 p.m. at the community hall.

Also, people may make written submissions to the review council on the QEC application.

The URRC’s deadline for receipt of written submissions is Feb. 2, 2018 at 5 p.m. eastern time. Information about how and where to send written submissions is available on the URRC website.

Under the QEC’s proposal, customers in larger communities would get hit hard over the next two years.

For example, in Iqaluit, commercial non-government power rates, a class that includes small businesses, would rise by 12 per cent in 2018-19 and by 8.6 per cent in 2019-20.

And commercial non-government power rates in Rankin Inlet would rise by 10.9 per cent in 2018-19 and by 8.6 per cent in 2019-20.

For domestic non-government customers, a class that includes private homeowners, power rates in Iqaluit would rise by 9.9 per cent in 2018-19 and by 8.6 per cent in 2019-20.

And domestic non-government power rates in Rankin Inlet would rise by 9.5 per cent in 2018-19 and by 8.6 per cent in 2019-20.

In contrast, commercial non-government power rates in Kugaaruk would decrease by 4.2 per cent in in 2018-19 and decrease by 4.7 per cent in 2019-20.

Also embedded within the QEC’s rate proposal is an across-the-board rate hike proposal for a 7.6-per-cent rate increase across all rate classes over two years: 2018-19 and 2019-20.

This accounts for rate hikes of about 3.6 per cent in each of those two years for all customers, the QEC said this past November.

In the past, QEC has twice tried and failed to impose a one-rate system on Nunavut, in 2004 and again in 2011.

The review council is only an advisory body. After its consultation period, the URRC will submit recommendations to Jeannie Ehaloak, the minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corp., who will issue a decision.

 

 

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(7) Comments:

#1. Posted by Too high on January 05, 2018

So will the service in Iqaluit improve? Or will we continue to experience weekly brown-outs due to the pool and airport sucking up all the power? Doubt it.

Homeowners in larger communities are punished so that the smaller communities can continue surviving for another year.

I’ll be fighting this and I’m sure others will too.

#2. Posted by Iqalummiuq on January 05, 2018

If there is a standard rate for QEC all across Nunavut, then Iqaluit and Rankin that get rate hikes need to have northern allowance increase and places that get a decrease get a decrease in Northern Allowance.
On another note, how many of these small communities are full of public housing that are highly subsidized by GN.

#3. Posted by qavvigarjjuk on January 05, 2018

This is outrageous. Homeowners in Rankin and Iqaluit should not be punished and subsidizing smaller communities social housing!! these people pay vey little if any electricity out of their own pockets. It is hard enough to get by in Rankin Inlet as a homeowner to pay for fuel , electricity and much much more property taxes than smaller communities. There is a shortage of housing in Nunavut,  why discourage people for being homeowners if they are going to make it unaffordable to many to own a home? It is bad enough that the Federal Government has made it more difficult now to get a mortage at the bank by putting the ceiling higher ( by doubling the present interest rates to see if you can afford it..  People please say a resounding NO to this huge rate increase in Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet!!!

#4. Posted by Accountant 1 on January 05, 2018

Municipal employees are going to get a 4% increase over two years (before taxes) and they are expected to pay a 7.6% increase in electricity (and probably everything else) over two years, but pay for it with after-tax dollars.

Sorry, this does not compute. 

The after-tax value of their pay increase will be about 3%. So two years from now the city workers will have about 5% less disposable income than they do now.

Tell me, how many municipal workers are home owners?
How many of them voted for the swimming pool?

Those transients who call themselves home owners are really home gamblers.  They are betting that they will be able to sell the house (that really belongs to the bank) for a lot more than they bought it for (with borrowed money).  Building the swimming pool kept money from going into developing lots for building houses. That pushed house prices up.  QEC needs money to cover its fixed costs. The less electricity Nunavummiut use, the higher the electricity rates have to be.

#5. Posted by IceClass on January 07, 2018

We don’t get brownouts in Iqaluit because the pool is “sucking up all the power”.

The lack of new lots has absolutely nothing to do with the new pool.

Iqaluit’s drooling pool haters (all six of them) continue to blow warm air up each other’s bottoms from the sofa.

Meanwhile, everyone else swims, exercises and watches the kids get healthier.

#6. Posted by Northern Guy on January 08, 2018

So QEC is planning to increase commercial and residential power rates for over 60% of their customer base to continue subsidizing power rates to communities who for all intents and purposes are on perpetual life support? What would happen if those affected customers refused to play ball? I will be opposing this.

#7. Posted by Johne366 on January 09, 2018

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