Rate hike: NB Power ordered to present latest calculations
NB Power asks the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board for approval to increase electricity rates by 8 .9% effective April 1.
NB Power has revised the amount it plans to spend this year and has not notified the board, which must approve or deny an increase in New Brunswickers' electricity bills.
The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board, which is considering the application, has just ordered the province's electricity distributor to return a document that it had failed to present to it.
On Friday, the commission learned that some numbers presented by NB Power were not up to date.
NB Power is seeking approval to increase electricity rates for residential and commercial customers by 8.9% beginning April 1. She needs to get permission from the Energy and Utilities Board, and hearings into that matter began last week.
In documents submitted to the commission, the state-owned company said it planned to spend $1.09 billion to buy oil, coal, natural gas, uranium and electricity to meet at the request of its customers in the next year. This is $403 million more than the year before.
However, these estimates were made in June 2022. The price of these resources has since declined.< /p>
Craig Church of NB Power told the panel on Friday that the Crown corporation runs internal simulations every three months to estimate these costs.
J. D. Irving's lawyer, Conor O'Neil, who questioned Mr. Church, was surprised, since he had estimates made in June 2022.
He asked him if estimates had been made in January 2023. Craig Church replied that yes. Can we see them?, the lawyer asked.
NB Power lawyer John Furey objected.
He accused Irving of going fishing for reasons to oppose the rate hike requested by NB Power. Irving indeed opposes it.
The panel of the commission, composed of François Beaulieu, Stephanie Wilson and Heather Black, interrupted the hearings to discuss this unexpected situation.
Upon their return, board CEO Francois Beaulieu said NB Power has an obligation to notify the board if there has been any material or exceptional change to his evidentiary record.
He therefore demanded that NB Power return to the commission with the most recent material, i.e. his expense estimates calculated in January of this year.