‘Nobody’s happy’ as Nunavut’s Qulliq Energy Corp. proposes 7.6% power rate increase

Nunavut residents will pay more for power if Qulliq Energy Corporation gets its way — and everybody across Nunavut could pay the same rate, regardless of which community they live in.

The Crown corporation is asking for an average rate increase of 7.6 per cent across the territory over the next two years. The corporation made a case for the increase in a general rate application to the territory’s Utility Rate Review Council in October.

If the rates are approved, Nunavut residents would see their first increase on April 1 of this year and a second increase on April 1, 2019.

The application proposes another change — Qulliq wants to harmonize power rates across the territory. Right now, different communities pay different rates — Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet, two of Nunavut’s largest communities, have the lowest electricity rates, while small communities such as Kugaaruk and Kimmirut pay the highest rates.

In its application, Qulliq argues the current rates are intended to reflect the costs of providing power to individual communities, but the structure doesn’t accurately reflect what these costs really are. According to the application, the current model would require a 172 per cent rate increase for Grise Fiord, for example, while Iqaluit would be looking at a 22 per cent increase.

If Qulliq’s plan is approved, it could lead to higher increases in larger communities, while those in smaller communities could see their rates decrease. The corporation proposes a gradual transition to harmonized rates over a period of six years.

Why the increases?

Bruno Pereira, the CEO and president of the Qulliq Energy Corporation, says increasing capital and operational costs mean the company must raise power rates to make ends meet. (Elyse Skura/CBC)

Bruno Pereira, president and CEO of Qulliq Energy Corporation, says the company needs these adjustments in order to make ends meet.

“It’s the cost of doing business,” he said.

“It’s the cost of providing reliable power in the…

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