The Northwest Territories Power Corporation proposes to raise electricity rates as early as April 1.

It has applied to the Public Utilities Board to have a 26 per cent increase phased in over four years.

The application proposes rates go up seven per cent every year for the first three years and then by five per cent in 2015.

The GNWT will also give the power corporation $33.8 million over three years to cushion the blow of the rate increase.

The rate increase is supposed to wean the power corporation off government funding.

"The costs are far outstripping our revenues and the power corporation is obligated to come forward and be self sustaining and pay for the business that they're in through their rate structure and those rates aren't meeting those needs," said Michael Miltenberger, the minister responsible for the NWT Power Corporation.

Miltenberger said the cost increases will cover mounting infrastructure needs such as upgrades to the Bluefish Dam and other projects to decrease the territory's reliance on diesel.

If approved, this will be the first rate increase in five years.