Hydroelectricity: subscribers begin to pay Muskrat Falls costs

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Hydropower: Subscribers start paying Muskrat Falls costs

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">The Muskrat Falls hydro facility cost an estimated $13 billion, after billions of dollars in cost overruns and years of delays.

Subscribers in Newfoundland are beginning to pay the costs of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric facilities with their July electricity bill, but not experiencing a significant increase in their monthly payment at this time.

Newfoundland Power said in July that the amount of the bill would decrease by 6.4% as part of the annual rate adjustment to reflect the costs of generating electricity. But this drop is offset by a 6.1% rate increase related to Muskrat Falls.

About 6% of total electricity bills now go into a rate stabilization fund, says a spokesperson for Hydro TNL.

The plan presented by Hydro NL received the support of the provincial government and the approval of the Public Utilities Commission.

Consumer advocate Dennis Browne also supports the measure. I thought the process was reasonable. Prices were not going to increase. We are in a difficult situation and it was a way of trying to improve things, he explains.

The government has ensured that consumers are now starting to pay the burden of Muskrat Falls. Energy Minister Andrew Parsons supported the change and asked NL Hydro to keep the monthly bill total as close to current levels as possible.

Leader of the Opposition, Progressive Conservative David Brazil, believes more should have waited.

There was an opportunity here for people to get some respite by electricity bills and this government has chosen not to do that, not to help people who are having difficulty, says David Brazil.

Cut the rates for a year would have resulted in higher borrowing costs for Muskrat Falls and a significant increase in rates the following year, said Minister Parsons.

About $43 million is due this year. year in the rate stabilization fund, which is only a fraction of the costs involved. The Muskrat Falls facilities cost about $13 billion. The megaproject suffered billions of dollars in cost overruns and years of delays.

With information from Darrell Roberts and Garrett Barry, CBC

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