About 200,000 current customers will initially receive refunds, representing approximately 85 per cent of the RSP balance, the utility companies said in a news release.
All Newfoundland Power customers and Hydro’s island interconnected customers (on the main grid) who have used, and paid for, electricity between Jan. 1, 2007, and Aug. 31, 2013, are eligible for the refund.
Current customers will receive their refund first, and then attention will shift to former customers who had accounts during the refund period.
The actual amount of the refund for each customer varies since it’s calculated based on an individual customer’s electricity usage.
Eligible customers will receive a refund of 0.364 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) used.
Both utilities have online and phone self-service options for customers with active electricity accounts to give them the amount of energy used during the refund period and the refund amount.
For Newfoundland Power customers: 1-800-663-2802
For N.L. Hydro customers: 1-888-737-1296
A residential customer with electric heat uses, on average, approximately 1,534 kWhs of electricity per month and would receive an average monthly refund of approximately $5.58 for each bill that was paid during the refund period.
A residential customer without electric heat uses, on average, approximately 837 kWhs of electricity a month and would receive an average monthly refund of about $3.05 for each bill paid during the refund period.
The refund will first be credited against any existing balance on accounts and a cheque will be issued to the customer whose name is on the bill for any remaining amount. Refunds will be adjusted for the amount of HST and the provincial government’s residential energy rebate in effect during a portion of the refund period.
Hydro’s RSP surplus refund to customers (the total fund) is forecast to be an estimated $138 million as of Jan. 31, 2017, including interest.
Roughly $129 million of the total affects Newfoundland Power’s customers, and about $9 million affects Hydro’s customers.
The taxes associated with the RSP refund represent an additional amount of about $16 million for customers.
Back and forth around the RSP fund and how refund would be handled have been ongoing before the Public Utilities Board and the courts since at least 2009.
At an unrelated event in St. John's Thursday, premier Dwight Ball was asked about the refund finally being sent out to ratepayers. "I think every Newfoundlander and Labradorian is happy to see this work completed. It's taken a long, long time," he said. "We understand why it has taken so long, but you know we're very happy to get this out and get the money into the economy, get the money back where it belongs — in the pockets of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."