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Yukon struggles to meet electrical energy demand

April 26, 2012

The Yukon uses about 400 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity and is expecting mines to need 237 GWh as new ones come on stream.

The prime energy producer is the Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC), owned by the territorial government. The regulator is the Yukon Utilities Board (YUB).

The problem is that there is no apparent way to meet the increasing demand. Yukon is the second fastest growing jurisdiction in Canada and has several new mines that could potentially come onto the territory’s isolated electrical grid.


In Whitehorse, 80% of new homes planned for a new Whistle Bend subdivision are planning to use electrical heat. The YUB has not raised rates in 13-14 years. Territorial electrical rates are too low. The upshot of low rates is that consumers have no incentive to move off electricity. YEC will soon be in a position of having to burn diesel for electrical generation, at first just in the winter, then all year round.