Power costs on the rise

For the second time in seven months, Red Deer households will see monthly power bills climb a few bucks.

For the second time in seven months, Red Deer households will see monthly power bills climb a few bucks.

City council supported this week an increase in the local distribution tariff, which will go into effect on July 1.

The change will vary depending on the customer.

Residents on average will see their distribution tariff charges increase an average of $2.23 or a 9.5 per cent increase.

Small general service user bills would rise an average of $8.49 a month or a 11.9 per cent increase.

General service users like restaurants will see their bill jump an average of $104.81 or a 14.9 per cent increase. Large general service users will see their bills climb by $1,310 on average, or a 16.6 per cent difference.

Bills also increased in January.

Residential dwelling paid an average of $2 more a month, based on using 600 kilowatts of electricity while small general service users like a corner store paid $3 a month more.

General service users actually saw their bills drop about 50 cents a month. Large general service users saw monthly bills jump $625.

The city’s Electric Light and Power Department reports that distribution tariff rate hikes are needed again, but for different reasons from earlier this year.

Department manager Ligong Gan said the city must pass on costs to consumers because the manager of the transmission lies, Alberta Electric System Operator, has increased transmission costs to the city by 20 per cent.

“Red Deer, on behalf of the customers, pays for the cost of using the provincial transmission system to deliver power to every consumer,” Gan said. “This (distribution tariff increase) has nothing to do with the cost of operating our distribution system.”

The January fee increases were due to a combination of provincial increases and city expenses.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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