School District to save $16,000

  • Dec. 10, 2007 7:00 a.m.

The school district will save about $16,000 in the coming year on its electricity bill, thanks to a recent decision by BC Hydro. Maintenance supervisor Paul Allen said the decision affects Sk’aadgaa Naay elementary school in Skidegate, the only school in the district paying a “special contract rate” for its electricity. This rate, applied to some high-use customers in remote areas, is significantly higher than the residential rate and is calculated by BC Hydro every year to reflect the actual cost of providing power in locations not connected to the mainland grid. Mr. Allen said BC Hydro notified the school district this fall that the rate would be rising 43 percent this year to $0.2522 per kWh, mainly because of the surging cost of diesel fuel. “It was a very punitive rate,” Mr. Allen said. But even BC Hydro recognized that the hike was harsh, and in its letter notifying customers about the possible hike said it would be coming up with a new rate. Hydro has 23 customers paying the special contract rate. Here on the islands, they include the Co-op branch in Skidegate, the Masset hospital, a fish plant and a couple of small mills. Mr. Allen said Hydro informed the customers last month that it has revised the rate to a much lower level. For Sk’aadgaa Naay, the savings are estimated at just over $16,000 for this year, which Hydro says will be a reduction of about 52 percent over what it would have paid if the $0.2522 rate had been applied.

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