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PUB approves 3.36% interim rate increase for Manitoba Hydro

Published by CME Manitoba on August 10, 2017

PUB approves 3.36% interim rate increase for Manitoba Hydro

Earlier this month, the P.U.B. approved a 3.36 per cent interim increase in Hydro rates – less than half of the 7.9 per cent initially requested by the utility. The regulator is also requiring that revenues be placed in a deferred account to insulate consumers from future rate hikes. The regulator did not consider Hydro’s 2016-17 financial statements in the interim rate; however, will take them into account when setting the permanent rate. The P.U.B. also questioned the aggressive 10-year timeline for improving the utility’s debt-to-equity ratio. The increase takes effect immediately.

CME has been actively involved in the rate process, advocating for reasonable increases with the P.U.B. though our role as an intervener in the current application, as well as collaborating and coordinating our efforts with other business groups. We also hosted a productive and informative meeting between manufacturers and Hydro’s Board Chair and Vice Chair to present information around their rate request.

Manitoba Hydro’s current financial situation is a serious issue. However, with the proposed rate increase coming at the same time as a carbon tax program dictated by the federal government, a sizeable increase would have had a significant, negative impact on manufacturing competitiveness in Manitoba.

These are complex policy issues. The solution will be neither easy nor immediate, and will require that stakeholders, the provincial government and Hydro leadership work together.

CME will continue to work to ensure manufacturing interests are heard by government and other key stakeholders in the manufacturing ecosystem.

Further reading

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hydro-rates-increasing-336-per-cent-437747283.html 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-hydro-rate-increase-1.4229963 

http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/manitoba-hydro-rate-hike-starts-today-1.3527515t 

Found in: Manufacturing Competitiveness sustainability

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