Consumers could pay for 50 years for power they never use: Murphy

NDP Consumer Affairs critic George Murphy (MHA, St. John’s East) says Newfoundland and Labrador consumers could easily end up paying for power they never use. The “take or pay” power purchase agreement commits Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to buying 40 per cent of the power produced by the proposed Muskrat Falls project for 50 years, whether consumers in the province use the power or not.

“If the power is not used, does the ratepayer still have to pay for the power, even though we aren’t using it?” Murphy asked in the House of Assembly today.

The MHA is concerned that future generations of ratepayers will be burdened with the purchase agreement, if Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is forced to increase rates to make up the difference, and called on government to make details of the agreement public.

“Does the minister think that the people have the right to know the details of the ‘take or pay’ power purchase arrangement?” asked Murphy. “Will he make the details of the arrangement public?”

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