Electricity Generation and Consumption
In 2018, NWT generated about 0.35 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity. In normal precipitation years, approximately 75% of NWT’s electricity comes from hydroelectricity. In drier years, the territory relies on diesel generation to make up for the shortfall in precipitation. Diesel is the sole or primary electricity source for remote communities or industries that are not connected to one of NWT’s two hydro-based grids (Figure 29).
In 2017, annual electricity consumption per capita in NWT was 7.4 megawatt hours (MW.h).
Figure 29: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type, 2018
Source: CER - Canada’s Energy Future 2019
This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Northwest Territories. A total of 0.35 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2018.
Three companies distribute electricity to residents of Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation provides electricity to some residents of the Northwest Territories, Northland Utilities (NWT) Limited distributes electricity to residents of Hay River, and Northland Utilities (Yellowknife) Limited distributes electricity to residents of Yellowknife. All of the companies are regulated by the NWT Public Utilities Board.
The energy charge varies, depending on the electricity provider. For this report, we have used Northlands Utilities (Yellowknife). It charges 23.72 cents per kilowatt hour (¢/kW.h). Electricity in the north is very expensive and the Government of the Northwest Territories subsidizes some of the cost. Some utilities in some communities, particularly those in remote areas, charge a fuel surcharge because they use diesel generators to supply electricity.
In addition to the energy cost per kW.h some locations particularly in northern Canada, have fuel surcharges added to their residential electricity bill. This accounts for the cost of diesel fuel to operate generators in remote communities.
All of the utilities charge a customer charge of $18.00 per month.
Figure 30: Northwest Territories Monthly Electricity Bill Break-down and Appliance Costs
Source: NWT Public Utilities Board
This interactive dashboard shows Northwest Territories residents what it costs to run various appliances based on the different lengths of time they are operated. The data for these graphs is available.
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