Chapleau Hydro Seeking Rate Increase

Chapleau Hydro's looking to increase rates.

In an email to JJAM FM News, the local utility confirms it's asking to increase rates for all classes, though it notes the application itself is part of a normal cost of service process - normally on a five-year cycle, but delayed by internal and corporate restructuring at Chapleau PUC.

The utility says current rates are based on 2012 capital and operational costs plus yearly inflation of about 1.5% - with the last increase in May 2015 - though they've $238,000 in assets since 2012, including depreciation expenses amounting to $45,000 - and there's been a general increase in costs due to regulation changes and the shift from the old structure of a "virtual" utility to a "traditional" utility, which meant $450,000 in assets previously owned by a now-defunct affiliate now belong to Chapleau Hydro.

If the application's approved as filed, a residential customer using 750 kilowatt hours a month is expected to see an increase of $2.88 per month - 2.5% - while a small commercial customer using 2000 kilowatt hours a month would see an increase of $21.09 a month - 7.4% - and large commercial users could expect an increase of $258.89, or 3.8%.

Details of the rate proposal are on the Chapleau Hydro or Chapleau P-U-C website, as well as the website of the Ontario Energy Board, which is holding a public meeting at the Chapleau Legion Hall, at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, February 5th - it'll be followed by an interrogatory phase involving registered interveners, then a settlement conference to negotiate final rates, which Chapleau Hydro says would be effective May 1st.