Whitehorse Daily Star

Yukon government reduces its monthly electrical subsidy plan

The Yukon government has reduced the monthly electrical subsidy for residential customers by 10 per cent.

By Chuck Tobin on June 7, 2019

The Yukon government has reduced the monthly electrical subsidy for residential customers by 10 per cent.

The maximum monthly rebate for the first 1,000 kilowatt hours fell from $26.62 to $23.95 beginning June 1.

The announcement was made last Friday.

Geoff Woodhouse of the Yukon Development Corp. explained this week the reduction was needed to bring the subsidy in line with the annual budget of $3.5 million the government provides for the rebate.

In the previous two fiscal years, the rebate exceeded the budget, he explained.

In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Woodhouse said, the government paid out $70,000 or two per cent more than the $3.5 million.

In the last fiscal year, it paid out 3.5 per cent more, or just over $125,000, he explained.

He said the growth in the Yukon’s population and the growth in household use is pushing up consumption and subsequently the draw on the rebate program.

The subsidy was introduced in 1998 as the rate stabilization fund to offset the impact on ratepayers caused by the closure of the Faro mine, which at the time was the largest electrical customer on the grid.

It has gone through a handful of changes, most notably in 2007. That year, the former Yukon Party government announced it was cutting the subsidy by 50 per cent, from a maximum of just over $36 a month to just over $18 a month.

It also announced it would be ending the rebate altogether in 2008.

The government of the day said it was becoming too expensive, and indicated a variety of energy conservation programs available to residential customers could help reduce their consumption and cost.

Providing the subsidy, the government said, was contrary to promoting energy conservation.

The government didn’t follow through with eliminating it, but rather increased the maximum rate in 2009 from just over $18 to $26.62.

Comments (16)

Up 0 Down 0

Real World on Jun 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

@BB Exactly! Conservatives up here have no idea how good they have it. It's like a government wonderland up here where nobody has to pay for any services, everything is subsidized, we pay the lowest taxes in the country and the territorial budget comes almost entirely from Ottawa. Yet they complain about having to pay for the littlest thing or service. And if you talk about a raise in taxes to pay for their way of life, they scream bloody murder. The entitlement is truly a thing to behold.

Up 7 Down 3

Always Questions on Jun 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Yukoners do recognize that power consumption during the summer season is not the problem, our hydro generation can provide the demand for our 'devices' when it's NOT required for heating. We may be warming up but we still heat our buildings for 8 months of the year, this is not changing anytime soon.
The problem comes along in late September & October when all those electrical baseboards get turned on, too much draw for our system and through the most vulnerable winter months and it has us burning dreaded fossil fuels - so yes, electric heat is still using diesel or LNG and it's a misnomer to call it 'green' in the Yukon.
We need to think it through completely, not just listen to the sales pitches. Climate Change, Global Warming, pick a term, I just know that I support increasing capacity by any means necessary at this point with the goal to have reliable, consistent home heating.
Sure it's annoying to have power outages in summer, but it can be downright scary to have power outages at even -10C temps in the winter. Whether it's electric baseboard or stove oil, we're all going to freeze.
The subsidy or lack thereof is irrelevant.

Up 6 Down 4

Mick on Jun 12, 2019 at 3:33 pm

It was posted here a while back but right now Yukon Energy is pumping 38.13 MW of Hydro and 3.05 MW of thermal, in fact in the summer months it is almost pure hydro, less than half a MW for June, July, August and September in 2018. Nice try with the fake news.

If you wanna make stuff up, try to cite a reputable source.

Up 17 Down 4

BnR on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:22 am

Dear home slice.
So, you're in a new home in WB with electric heat and no fossil fuels......
Emissions wise, you'd be better off with a Propane 97% efficient furnace than using the power from YEC, generated on diesel or LNG fired generators. They ain't condensing.

Up 21 Down 2

Get real on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:25 am

Hey @homeslice
No fossil fuels? Do you know how power is generated in the Yukon? All those "super green" homes in WB with electric heat are overloading the power system, which means they have to run LNG or diesel to keep up with demands. But yeah, enjoy that high horse in the clouds...

Up 19 Down 10

Home slice on Jun 10, 2019 at 10:20 am

YG has got it ass backwards yet again.

I'm in Whistlebend in a new Super Green home with electric heat. No fossil fuels at all. Shouldn't I be in the target demographic for a rebate using electricity from (predominantly) renewable source?

There are 3 people in my house and we almost always go over the 1,000 kW threshold aside from the summer months.

Up 12 Down 32

BB on Jun 10, 2019 at 9:01 am

Your electrical bill is about to go up by a maximum of two dollars and sixty-seven cents per month. Let's all us Conservatives take this opportunity to go on a cry-baby fest about how horrible the Liberals are treating you by eliminating this subsidy. Waaahhh!! I want my subsidy back! Waaaahh! Signed, we the Yukon Party who hate the Liberals and love our government subsidies. There, that pretty much sums up the comment section.

Up 43 Down 3

Piston Broke on Jun 9, 2019 at 11:12 am

Politico I think the bigger problem is no one in government really understands what it is like to budget anymore. Run out of cash in the budget? They just squeeze people for more.
What ever happened to reduce or cut expenses in wasteful unneeded areas or special interest programs few use, to come WITHIN existing budgets. That idea no longer exists it seems.

Up 44 Down 8

Juniper Jackson on Jun 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm

July 1 the carbon tax is kicking in. We are already paying carbon tax on what comes from BC and prior to May 31, from Alberta. Sandy is Liberal to every last cell in his body, so there will be no help from this government.. I do not have the math to calculate what the carbon tax is going to mean. It will not affect SA recipients, as their SA will go up to cover increased cost of living here. It won't affect government workers, who are in negotiations now, wages will go up to encompass this rise in the cost of living. The Trudeau government has suggested if we can't pay the tax, buy cheaper "goods and services" i.e. food. Who does that leave paying the bill? Damn..I'm almost 80..I have to go back to work!

Up 39 Down 5

Al on Jun 8, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Ah but we did not directly raise your taxes. Instead we came in the backdoor and did it. True Liberal philosophy. Must be out of the script that they currently use in Ottawa...

Up 40 Down 5

Yukonmax on Jun 8, 2019 at 7:16 am

How about charging it to the mine that just got online?

Up 35 Down 0

Ivan Kelmeikoff on Jun 8, 2019 at 5:31 am

With Mr. Woodhouse of the YDC interested in penny pinching for the budgets sake perhaps he can explain a little of what the last increase was spent on seeing as how the President is loath to mention this. What infrastructure was obtained providing what improvements please? This question seems too difficult for any energy official to answer but they have no trouble asking for more.

Up 37 Down 12

Wilf Carter on Jun 8, 2019 at 2:55 am

Liberal Federal Government cutting funding to Yukon so liberals taking more out of our pockets and Larry knows and supports that.

Up 45 Down 8

North_of_60 on Jun 8, 2019 at 12:21 am

But of course the govt has to reduce the rebate since they're subsidizing solar electricity at 3x the cost of the hydro it's displacing. Buy solar and spill water; someone has to pay for that mismanagement of renewable resources.

Up 41 Down 13

Not surprising on Jun 7, 2019 at 11:09 pm

And life continues to become more expensive under the Liberals.

Up 39 Down 9

Poltico on Jun 7, 2019 at 4:12 pm

This may be to simplistic but how about just increasing the budget?

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