Northland Utilities

Northland Utilities

June 02, 2015 18:36 ET

Northland Utilities Puts Electricity Cost Solutions 'On the Table'

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwired - June 2, 2015) - Northland Utilities is responding to Minister Miltenberger's request to identify and discuss solutions to reduce electricity costs in the Northwest Territories. After repeated attempts to sit down with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), Northland Utilities is formally inviting the government and all interested parties to have a meaningful discussion on this critical issue.

"Nothing is more important than identifying and implementing real solutions to reduce electricity costs for all residents in the Northwest Territories," said Doug Tenney, Vice President, Northern Development, Northland Utilities. "The current system is complicated and burdened with government policy that can only be changed when all players involved sit down and explore every option to reduce rates."

The current electrical system is governed by GNWT policy that charges customers different rates based on their proximity to hydro generation facilities in the territory. Communities further away from these facilities are mandated to pay more for transmission costs than communities that are closer, contributing to the significant rate disparity between communities like Fort Smith and Hay River.

This is further compounded by the government-owned NTPC charging Hay River 30 per cent more than Fort Smith for power. Current GNWT policy prevents this disparity from being corrected in any substantive manner.

The company implores all players with a stake in the territory's energy future to work together to cut through the layers of complicated policy and identify real solutions to rate reductions.

Northland Utilities has identified a number of efficiencies that could be achieved by working together with the GNWT and NTPC:

  • Remove redundancies in billing systems;
  • Eliminate redundancies in computer systems;
  • Remove duplication of on-call services;
  • Eliminate duplication of multiple office locations; and
  • Reduce the number of rate zones across the territory to ensure fair and balanced policy and rates for all NWT residents.

These solutions would result in tangible savings for customers and are achievable without unnecessarily spending $180 million to have the GNWT takeover Northland Utilities.

The company formally invites Premier McLeod, Minister Miltenberger and other members of the NWT Legislative Assembly, along with the Public Utilities Board, NTPC, Denendeh Investments Inc., the Chambers of Commerce in the territory, Dene and all Indigenous communities and municipal government representatives to participate in a collaborative and transparent discussion with the sole purpose of establishing lower and equitable power prices across the territory.

Northland Utilities is jointly owned by Denendeh Investment Inc. whose members represent the 27 Dene First Nations communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and ATCO Electric. The company provides electricity services to more than 11,000 customers in nine communities in NWT through its two divisions located in Yellowknife and Hay River.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Stephanie Cunha
    Senior Communications Advisor
    Northland Utilities
    Mob. +1 867-334-5534