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NB Power rate hike comes into effect

NB Power rates are now 13.2 per cent higher for residential customers.

The rate increases are intended to ease the organization’s over $5 billion debt.

Herb Emery, the Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics at the University of New Brunswick, said the rate increases are necessary.

“At the end of the day, someone’s going to have to pay for the operations, the infrastructure, and retiring the debt,” he said.

And that comes at a price.

Tate LeJeune recently moved to Fredericton from Montreal.

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“It was a huge shift coming to this province, and realizing just how expensive power rates can be,” he said.

NB Power says the increase will average at about $25 a month, or $300 a year.

“(The rate hike) is one more cost that’s increasing, and people are obviously going to be upset with it, but at this point it’s not clear what we can do about it,” Emery said.

But with the rising cost of living, that increase can be a concern.

“We already spend close to $500 a month in the winter months on power. To see this large of an increase creates a good deal of insecurity,” LeJeune said.

To offset the increases, Emery recommends using less power, or switching to cheaper alternatives like heat pumps.

“The fact of the matter is, energy’s just getting more expensive in the region,” he said.

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