News release distributed by the Government of the Northwest Territories
YELLOWKNIFE (June 2, 2023) – Recognizing the impact of inflation, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is introducing temporary relief to electricity rates. The relief will offset significant increases in the price and consumption of diesel over the past year and a half in the territory.
To keep consumer electricity bills at their current levels, the GNWT is making a one-time contribution of $15.2 million to the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC).
Two significant uncontrollable events have occurred that have driven the cost to provide power much higher.
The Snare and Bluefish hydroelectric facilities, which supply power to Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀ and Dettah, are experiencing naturally occurring low water levels. As a result, the NTPC has had to generate significantly more power with diesel to meet the territory’s energy requirements.
In addition to low water, like everyone else, NTPC has seen the price of fuel increase by over 40 per cent since December 2021. Revenue from electricity sales has been insufficient to pay for the increased cost to deliver power over the past year.
This contribution to NTPC will offset outstanding fuel costs and will benefit all electricity consumers in the NWT. Without this contribution the outstanding fuel costs would have been borne by the consumer through a fuel rider that would have increased monthly bills for customers.
“As a government, we strive to strike a balance between the territory’s economic reality and the need to provide relief to those most affected by the rising cost of living. We understand that the cost of electricity can put a strain on family budgets, making it harder for many to make ends meet. That’s why the GNWT has decided to cover increases to the cost of power generation through a one-time contribution that will prevent a sharp increase to electricity bills.”
- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance
“While this contribution will offset electricity costs in the short-term, NTPC is committed to advancing several long-term strategic objectives, including reducing fuel consumption, investing in core assets, and reducing controllable costs through efficiencies and continuous improvement. Reducing the gap between average electricity rates in the NWT and the Canadian national average is one of our top priorities.”
- Diane Archie, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation
- The GNWT’ one-time contribution will be provided directly to NTPC to offset unexpected increases in diesel generation and the price of diesel. Residents are not required to take any action.
- A fuel rider is a time-limited/temporary surcharge on a monthly bill with the proceeds earmarked to pay for unexpected increases in the price of fuel. It is not considered part of base rates.
- The GNWT continues to work to reduce reliance on diesel generation. Guided by the 2030 Energy Strategy, we are taking steps towards developing a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy system in the territory.
For media requests, please contact:
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories