People in N.W.T. may see a rise in their monthly power bills for the next two years due to low water levels in the Snare Hydro System.

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation says due to the dry summer, the water level in the Snare Hydro System is at an all-time low. NTPC says because of that, it has had to increase its use of diesel to power Yellowknife and other North Slave communities at a cost of $20 million. 

NTPC is applying to the public utilities board for an emergency rate rider of 3.7 cents for every kilowatt hour to pay for this.

"NTPC recognizes the impact this will have on our customers; we're working to lessen that impact as much as we can," said Pam Coulter, a spokesperson for NTPC.

"We've asked for the rate rider to go over a longer period of time to lower the amount on a monthly basis. We're also working and applying to the water board to lower the maximum level of water we can go so that we might be able to get more from the hydro system as well."

She says if people in the territory make efforts to conserve power, that will help keep costs from rising further.

The public utility board will make the decision about how long the rider will be in effect, and how much it will be.

Coulter says if the board approves the application, people could see the increase on their power bills as early as next month.