New Brunswick Power customers can expect a rise in their next electricity bill. As of press time, the exact percentage increase has yet to be set, but it will sit near 2 per cent.
In June, NB Power asked the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) to approve a 2 per cent electricity-rate increase for all customers. The EUB’s report on the interim decision said it approved a delayed rate increase but is unsure of the exact amount it will grant to NB Power, according to CBC News. The rate increase was originally set for July 1 and the three-month delay has cost the company millions of dollars.
If the currently proposed 2 per cent is accepted, NB Power will have increased their rates by 6 per cent over the last three years. NB Power has sought these increases in an attempt to pay their debt down by $1 billion, from their current $5-billion deficit. The company’s current goals project a debt of $1 billion by 2021.
Third-year student Connor Simpson has paid his own electricity bill last year and will continue to this year. Going off approximate numbers from last year, Simpson said prices vary and can range from $100-120 at their highest and $30-40 at lowest.
“It must, it will have a tangible effect on my bill,” said Simpson. “I’m pretty frugal with how much power I’m using anyway.”
It is unclear how the rate increase would affect students in Sackville who pay their own utility bills. Wendy Rose, secretary at J.N. Lafford Realty, said that Lafford leases are signed with heat and electricity included. “But if we find that certain apartments abuse this, then it could possibly come from their deposit,” said Rose.
According to NB Power, their increase would represent roughly a four dollar increase for the average New Brunswick family.
The EUB will decide the final rate hike once NB Power refiles the required information.