The Consumer Advocate says the PUB has granted Newfoundland Power a $31-million expenditure without allowing ratepayers a public hearing on the issue.
Dennis Browne says the Public Utilities Board’s order to allow Newfoundland Power to replace its Customer Service System without a hearing “amounts to a procedural travesty.”
The PUB has acknowledged that the cost of the project is significant and will cause upward pressure on power rates.
Browne says the benefits of the project are not clear and have not been quantified, while the risks associated with the project have not been assessed or identified and there has been no cost benefit analysis.
He says the risk associated with proceeding with a $31.6-million information technology project needs careful scrutiny and the PUB as regulator needs to balance the interest of both utilities and consumers.
Browne says there will be no rate mitigation until the “spendthrifts at Newfoundland Power are brought under control.”