Manitoba Hydro’s electric board is hopeful a promise from the provincial government will help reduce the utility’s debt load, cut down on Manitobans’ monthly costs.
The province announced Wednesday that it’s cutting a pair of annual fees it charges Hydro in half — one for water rental and one for guaranteeing the utility’s debt. The changes, retroactive to April 1, are intended to save the Crown corporation almost $190 million a year and help stabilize its finances, finance minister Cameron Friesen said.
Electric board chair Edward Kennedy told 680 CJOB’s The Start that the fee change could have an impact on future proposed rate hikes of 3.5 per cent, but won’t eliminate hikes completely.
“At 3.5, they were below the rate of inflation, but that’s still a lot hitting people’s pocketbooks,” Kennedy said.