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Power costs on the rise

Mayor Brian Taylor presides over a meeting of the new city council; Photo, Mona Mattei
Grand Forks residents will ring in the New Year with electrical rate increases of four percent passed on from FortisBC.
At their Monday, Dec. 19 meeting Grand Forks council approved the first three readings of the increase after reviewing reports from chief financial officer Cecile Arnott and electrical consultant Alex Love that called for the adjustment based on the interim increase in wholesale costs.
“Rate rebalancing is having a significant impact on our power purchase costs in both 2011 and 2012,” explained Love in his report. “While at first glance it would appear that the wholesale customers did poorly in the 2010 rate design hearing…in fact wholesale customers did very well considering when the hearing started the proposed rate rebalancing increase for Grand Forks was over 30 percent.”
Commercial user rates will increase from 3.5 percent to 5 percent depending on the bulk pricing usage.
Residential users will see price of usage rates from $.09033 to $.09394 and commercial rates from $.09908 at bulk one rates to $ .10255.
Love went on to explain that the final rate increase for 2012 has not been decided, but council can adjust accordingly later in the year. Since 2010 the rates will have increased a total of six percent.
Council had set a policy of keeping rates at 98 percent of FortisBC retail rates, so the decision to adjust rates for Grand Forks customers maintains that policy.

Rate increases are effective as of Jan. 1 once passed for its final reading at the next meeting.