City looks for electric rate payment plan

Mike Carson
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SUMMERSIDE – City council will looking into establishing an equalized payment plan for customers of the Summerside electric utility.

Councillor Tina Mundy proposes equalized budget payment plan for city electric customers. 

 

The suggestion was made last March by Councillor Tina Mundy but because of vacancies in the city’s administration, was never addressed in any detail.

Mundy brought the plan back to the floor of council Monday night.

“Around this time last year I brought up the idea of us looking into some kind of a budgeting system in the electric department where residents could pay a certain amount a month every month for a year,” Mundy said. “At the end of the year they’d either have a surplus or a deficit in their account. It’s just a way to help families budget, especially during the cold winter months.”

She said at the end of the year customers would either get a rebate or pay the difference

Mundy said since she proposed the idea initially a new director of finance and chief administrative officer have been hired so the suggestion was placed on the back burner.

She asked council is there was any willingness to pursue the idea.

“We have discussed that a couple of times,” said Deputy mayor Bruce MacDougall, chairman of the city’s financial services committee. “The first time there was something to do with our system that wouldn’t allow us to do it. But I believe before (former finance director) Malcolm Millar retired we were starting to look at that again. I agree that would be something that would be beneficial to our customers.”

Mundy brought up the plan just prior to the province implement the harmonized tax system, a move that increased taxes on electricity rates.

Mundy said the equalized payment scheme could help relieve the financial stress on families if they could plan ahead.

Council directed CAO Bob Ashley to review the information on the proposal.

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

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