Yukon Energy seeks first retail rate increase in 13 years

- Yukon Energy Corporation has filed an application with the Yukon Utilities Board for its first retail rate increase since 1999.

The corporation has asked for a 6.4 percent increase for all customer classes residential, commercial, industrial and government in 2012 and an additional 6.5 percent raise in 2013.

The increases would impact both Yukon Energy and Yukon Electrical customers.

"Over the last 13 years we’ve done everything possible to keep electricity costs low. In fact we were even able to secure a 2.47 percent rate decrease for our customers when the Minto mine came on-line," Yukon Energy President David Morrison said. "However the cost of keeping aging infrastructure efficient, up-to-date and safe for Yukoners has increased faster than electricity rates, making our current path unsustainable."

Increased energy consumption in all sectors has strained Yukon Energy's power grid, and has depleted the corporation's surplus hydro. While Yukon Energy's new hydro assets Mayo B and the Aishihik third turbine have helped address this problem, expensive diesel generation is still needed to supply an increasing share of the new demand.

"Thirteen years is a long time to go without a rate increase," Morrison added. “The last time we raised rates, Gretzky was playing for the Rangers and gas was 60 cents a liter. Meanwhile, salaries have gone up and the cost of our materials keeps climbing."

"Given these factors, seeking rate increases is the responsible thing to do," said Morrison. "However even with higher rates there are many steps Yukoners can take to keep their bills affordable. We will work with customers to provide them with the tools and information they need to have more control over their electricity bills."



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