Fredericton — When asked how it is going to solve its financial woes, NB Power riffed on pop star Justin Bieber’s hit song — they are going to do it one-time.
On Monday, NB Power announced that they were considering a so-called “weather tax” to pay for unexpected expenses from winter storm damage. The utility says it wants to pay off these unplanned expenses by dividing the cost of damages from severe weather among the ratepayers using a one-time charge.
For example, a storm causing $25 million in damages could result in a one-time charge of $63 each when divided equally between 401,000 ratepayers.
After hearing no serious resistance to this idea to date, NB Power now plans to solve all of its problems with a series of one-time charges to ratepayers.
“I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before,” said CEO Gaëtan Thomas. “Here we were building our budgets and planning for unforeseen circumstances like suckers, when we could have just totalled up these charges and passed them on this whole time. I feel really embarrassed that we didn’t think of this before now!
“First we’ll get rid of the debt — BOOM!” clapped Thomas excitedly. “$4.9 billion is around $12,000 for each ratepayer. Pew pew!” he said, making finger-guns in the air.
“Next, we’ll pay off the Point Lepreau deferral account — $1 billion there. We thought we were going to have to pay that off in 300 monthly payments of $5.6 million! So…that’s about $2,500 for each ratepayer.
“Then, we’ll pay off that billion-dollar orimulsion fiasco…remember that? Our accountants do!” Thomas bemoaned.
“In conclusion, we’ll tally up these costs and send y’all a bill. But remember, you just have to pay it once and then it’s behind you…and me too. Then, I can finally get a good night’s sleep.
“Thanks in advance from your publicly owned utility,” Thomas finished. “We really appreciate it!”