NB Power

New flat energy rate to be implemented for newly constructed homes (08/12/08)

NB 1784

Dec. 8, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Following the most recent ruling by the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB), NB Power will eliminate the declining block rate by introducing a new flat energy rate for residential customers who are building new homes. The new rate will be implemented on Jan. 5, 2009.

NB Power is removing the residential declining block gradually as per the EUB's decision in February 2008. This decision required that the declining block rate be reduced by 50 per cent on March 28, 2008, and be completely eliminated by April 2010.

"The gradual removal of the declining block rate balances the need to send a price signal that better reflects the cost of providing electricity to our customers, while limiting bill effects on customers who consume more electricity," said Darren Murphy, vice-president of transmission, distribution and customer service.

The residential declining block rate structure is currently set so that customers who consume more than 1,300 kWh per billing period pay a lower rate for the balance of their consumption. This affects about one-third of residential customers.

The new flat rate will only be applied to newly constructed single-family dwellings, including duplexes, row-housing and semi-detached homes. Service requested on or after Jan. 5, 2009, will be billed the flat rate.

With a flat energy rate, the rate per kWh does not vary with volume. The rate will be 9.20 cents per kWh. For current residential customers, the rate is 9.54 cents per kWh for the first 1,300 kWh billed ,and 8.61 cents per kWh for the balance of the kWh billed.

As an example of the new rate, a typical, newly constructed, single-family, 108-sq.-metre (1,200 sq.-ft.) bungalow heated with electricity will see a bill increase of about $24 per year. The same bungalow that is not heated with electricity will see a bill decrease of about $27 per year.

"If you are planning to build a new home, or know a friend or neighbour who is planning to do so, we encourage you to work with contractors to discuss pricing and heating-system options prior to construction," said Murphy. "Up-front decisions can help you save money over the long term, and make your home more energy efficient."

The NB Power Group employs more than 2,500 New Brunswickers, and consists of a holding company and four operating companies. The group operates one of North America's most diverse networks of generating stations, consisting of nuclear-, hydro-, coal-, oil- and diesel-powered stations, with an installed net capacity of 3,959 MW. The NB Power Group is committed to serving more than 375,000 customers in New Brunswick with safe, reliable and efficient electricity.

08/12/08

MEDIA CONTACT: Heather MacLean, manager, media relations, 506-458-6618 or by e-mail: hemaclean@nbpower.com.

08/12/08