Maritime Electric gives final push for rate hike

Jim Day
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The corporate offices of Maritime Electric in Charlottetown.

Utility wants increases over the next three years

Maritime Electric gave a final push for proposed rate hikes Thursday.

A team consisting of top management and even a couple lawyers sat before IRAC to offer detailed explanation of the utility's application for a new General Rate Agreement.

The joint application of Maritime Electric and the P.E.I. government proposes to increase electricity rates incrementally over the next three years.

The increase would amount to 2.3 per cent for the average residential customer every year for the next three years - amounting to a total 6.9 per cent increase by 2018.

The utility estimates this will be an increase of about $2.60 a month each year for the next three years.

IRAC is expected to deliver a written ruling on the application no later than Monday.

Maritime Electric vice president John Gaudet says the company would need to "regroup with the province and look at our options'' if IRAC rejects the application.

Gaudet says the proposed rate hike is based on a myriad of costs.

"Many of our energy supply contracts escalate through time which capture that,'' he says.

"We have labour contracts through the IBW which have adjustments as well as inflationary costs that drive that - and included in that (projected cost) is a provision for increased depreciation.''

Tony Reddin, coordinator of the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island (ECOPEI) was not surprised that his group was the only intervener at the hearing Thursday, noting there usually is not much public involvement in the process.

Naturally, Reddin is hopeful for increased green energy in the province.

"For it to be a three-year agreement, we need to know that there is a provision for the terms of it to change - and we hope there will be changes needed because the province has an energy strategy that is being developed over this spring and early summer,'' he says.

Organizations: Maritime Electric, Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Quiet Observer
    February 26, 2016 - 11:11

    Why bother intervening. IRAC is just a "rubber stamp" for whatever Maritime Electric wants. There is no way Maritime Electric/Fortis shareholders should be guaranteed a 9% return on their investment. is anyone else out there getting a 9% return on a secure investment? I don't think so. 5-6% is plenty on a guranteed investment situation. But, IRAC and Wade do not have the courage to stand up to Fortis.

  • don
    February 26, 2016 - 06:45

    so lets get this straight you want an increase in our power bill plus you are getting multi millions from the government "tax payers" so you want us to get screwed twice. you are worse then the government. but i wonder how many mla's has shares in maritime electric??