Electricity overpayments will go back to customers, says Sheridan

Ryan Ross
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Maritime Electric

Any money sitting in an account from electricity rate overpayments will go back to ratepayers, says Energy Minister Wes Sheridan.

Sheridan made the remarks during today’s question period after Opposition Leader Olive Crane said the utility has been collecting at least $21 million in overpayments from Islanders.

Sheridan said that money came from the Energy Cost Adjustment Mechanism (ECAM), which the previous Progressive Conservative government established to make sure consumers weren’t hit by spikes in energy prices.

That account will be emptied by the end of the five-year energy accord, Sheridan said.

“That is the commitment that Maritime Electric has made to Prince Edward Island government and we’ll ensure that that takes place so that Islanders have a predictable, reliable source of energy going out into the predictable future.”

The P.E.I. Energy Accord led to an average drop of 14 per cent in electricity rates, in part because the province assumed $35 million in Maritime Electric’s debt at a lower rate than the company could borrow.

Maritime Electric’s ratepayers will pay back the amount borrowed but Opposition Leader Olive Crane accused the government of keeping the details of its energy accord secret.

Crane cited a report from an energy producer in New England.  That producer saw a 45 per cent drop in peak energy prices between 2008 and 2010.

NB Power buys electricity from them.

Sheridan said energy prices can be lower at times but they fluctuate and P.E.I.’s peak electricity use doesn’t always come at a time when the costs are lowest.

“There are times on the grid when there is excess energy,” he said.

Crane then questioned why the government wasn’t making Maritime Electric use the $21 million to pay down its debt.

Sheridan said the ECAM is in place to smooth out energy prices over several years so there can be price predictability.


Organizations: Maritime Electric, NB Power

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, New England

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Recent comments

  • Gerard
    November 28, 2012 - 18:35

    Just how do things like this happen...........More corruption......by this corrupt Liberal govt.

  • Marie
    November 28, 2012 - 08:51

    Great to know that you would've emptied the $21 million account. Sad (more mad actually) to think of where it would've been emptied...friends with businesses that paid SOOO much electricity they could've secretly applied to get most of it. Then you could've given a 2 cents credit to the average electricity user and raised the rates 5 cents a kwh to get it all back. Or maybe do like Ontario... mail the money to people in jail, on welfare, and dead!!! Keep at them Olive. They'll either have to straighten up or run away. I'm sure lots of PEI hopes it's the latter.

  • Brenda
    November 28, 2012 - 08:07

    Sounds good to me. I do wonder how this money will be given back. What about the people who have died ? Will the estate be receiving cheques? 5 years is a long time to wait if that money is just setting there. I could be dead in 5 years!!

    • Marie
      November 28, 2012 - 08:56

      Please don't postpone your funeral plans thinking you're getting your 2 cents worth from this extra $21 million. It too will disappear, and you'll have waited for nothing LOL

  • Joe Blow
    November 28, 2012 - 00:04

    With all the lies and the spin Islanders have been forced to listen to from this man and the Ghiz government about the PNP, Plan B and the HST alone....why on earth would anybody believe that we will see 1 penny of this money???? There hasn't been 1 single truth told by this crooked government since they have been in power...they aren't going to start looking after Islanders now!!! This is just more spin from the Spin Doctor himself!!

  • don
    November 27, 2012 - 20:15

    we have dizzy and his puppet wes for this screw up again. how many more things are they going to screw up?. and also the voters who voted them in. i would like to see the voters who put dizzy and his gang of money lovers pay the money we have lost.

  • What a line
    November 27, 2012 - 20:04

    What the hell would Wes Sheridan know about electricity, same old dodging answers, I can gaurantee everyone, nothing will come back from him before he allocates it to some cover up of debt to further smooth out the mismanagement of the Liberal Government. We should enjoy each to the fulliest but listening to this BS does get sickening. This is similar to the BS Mayor Stewart and Deputy Mayor MacDougall are slinging in Summerside over fibre optics and being in competition with Bell Aliant and others, boy are Summerside taxpayers getting a snow job over this and Route 2( pet project of past CAO Terry Murphy) to the tone of millions and more coming. These guys are real dreamers, Time for a forensic audit in Summerside for sure before the City is banckrupt. When this happens the four top brains Councilor Bridges referred to will be down to one, since Terry Murphy, Malcolm Millar, and Dave Morgan are gone leaving Mayor Stewart holding the bag depending on Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall, Finance chair to catch flying balls like he alluded to when speaking about Malcolm Millar retiring. What a gong show.

  • teema hancock
    November 27, 2012 - 17:54

    All I tried to ask here was how I get ALL my over payments back from FORTIS/Maritime Electric.....Cut in my electricity bill?...or a cheque from FORTIS??....You continually BLOCK me,Guardian....And I do your validation process every time....:(

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    November 27, 2012 - 17:53

    All you have to do is watch poor Wes Sheridan on Compass to see he is in way over his head with the other National Players in the energy game. The energy game is ripe for rip offs and corrupt deals. Maritime Electric should use a little of their own energy to shine a little light on the cockroaches over there at Province House. Shine the light and watch them scurry. Sheridan says that 21 million dollar account will be emptied, but he doesn't say how it will be emptied. Of course the details are kept secret, like all other crap that this corrupt government keeps secret. I believe that each user must pay his or her fair share for power but as we all know from watching the ups and downs of the electricity game, it is exactly that, a game, played by speculators. Why, because that is where the money is. We as citizens are like gamblers in a casino. We are playing against a stacked deck, with all odds in favor of the house (big government, big biz, and big Wall Street). Speculators should not be allowed to gamble with the essential commodities of life. Politicians should do their part to enable legislation to protect citizens from the greedy speculators, but instead it seems every new piece of law is for the benefit of big gov and big biz and at the expense of Joe Citizen.

  • don
    November 27, 2012 - 15:50

    well 20.5 million will go to dizzy for tax's. and the rest will go to rate payers.

  • intobed
    November 27, 2012 - 15:43

    "That account will be emptied by the end of the five-year energy accord, Sheridan said." Finally, Sheridan said something I believe. The Ghiz government will not be able to pass up $21 million, if Maritime Electric doesn't get it first. The rate payers will never see it though.