Nunavut power utility to give customers another refund
Average household user could save more than $20 per month
Thanks to continuing low fuel prices, the Qulliq Energy Corp. has decided it can afford to give customers another refund to be applied automatically to their power bills: this time, worth 3.07 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The rebate would apply for six months: between April 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2016.
For an average household using 700 kWh per month, that amounts to a saving of $21.50 on each power bill.
George Hickes, the minister responsible for the QEC, has given the corporation’s request to the Utility Rates Review Council, which must examine and recommend final approval of the proposal.
But so the benefits can start flowing to customers right away, the QEC wants the refund request approved now on an interim basis, QEC’s acting president and CEO Jamie Flaherty said in a March 31 letter to Hickes.
The instrument that the QEC is using to pay the refund is called a “fuel stabilization rider.”
The QEC attaches these riders to power bills whenever a special pot of money called the fuel stabilization rate fund rises below or above $1 million.
Over the next six months, the QEC expects that fund to produce a surplus of $2.46 million — hence the refund.
In the past, rate riders always took the form of special surcharges that forced customers to pay more.
For example, a rate rider imposed in June 2013 raised power rates by 3.92 cents per kWh between Dec. 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014.
But all that changed this past November, when declining fuel prices led to QEC announcing a refund of 1.8 cents per kWh.
The refund will not go to public housing tenants.
That’s because, under the Nunavut Housing Corp.’s user pay program, public housing tenants already pay a highly-subsidized low rate of only six cents per kWh.