Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rate shock

  • Print

Manitoba Hydro ratepayers have been slapped with increases totalling 4.5 per cent for electricity this year. The increases are "interim" -- to be confirmed, or not, when a prolonged dispute between the Crown utility and its rate regulator is settled. This is a clumsy and expensive way to charge Hydro's customers.

The Public Utilities Board this week allowed the 2.5 per cent increase, to kick in Saturday, because it wanted to prevent rate shock next year, when another requested increase is decided. The increases this year follow an earlier hike, the revenues from which were ordered stashed in a holding account -- perhaps returned to customers -- until the utility's general rate application before the PUB is finally settled. That process is awaiting a hearing on a dispute over whether the PUB is entitled to the details of Hydro's export contracts with customers south of the border.

The PUB is concerned about the massive cost and debt Manitoba Hydro is facing as export prices fall and rising costs for its capital program. The new Wuskwatim dam is operating at a loss right now, it notes. Further, Hydro wants to build the Conawapa and Keeyask dams, for export purposes, despite some projections showing the market for that is risky.

Some of the $20 million in additional income the interim increases will produce are to cover the "pre-build" costs of those projects, projects that many believe are too risky, too costly. The PUB has said Hydro's entire capital program should be put to a vigorous independent review. Premier Greg Selinger should waste no time in doing exactly that.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2012 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose gobbles up grass at Fort Whyte Alive Monday morning- Young goslings are starting to show the markings of a adult geese-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 20– June 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google