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.