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NB Power’s proposed rate hike has advocacy group concerned

By Regis Phillips Dec 19, 2023 | 6:27 AM

The provincial advocacy group New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice (NBCFSJ) is not happy with NB Power’s proposal to hike power rates by nearly 13 per cent next year.

NB Power has asked the Energy and Utilities Board for a 9.8 per cent residential rate hike. It has also requested a three per cent increase over 12 months through a Variance Account Recovery to help cover higher-than-expected costs.

If both increases are approved in full, the average residential power bill would increase by nearly $25 monthly in 2024-25.

“We were a bit shocked and a bit upset when the announcement was made so close to the holidays and there’s already been a rate increase this year,” said Janelle LeBlanc, provincial coordinator of NBCFSJ.

“If approved, we’ll see tens of thousands of New Brunswickers that are in poverty wondering what other expenses they’re going to cut, so we know difficult choices are coming for many people and this concerns us.”

The New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice works for more justice, better social policies and greater solidarity within society.

LeBlanc said they would like to see NB Power raise its industrial rate so that residential rates would not have to be raised so far.

“We just need political will right now from our government so people can afford and cover basic needs,” she said.