Power companies in the Yukon are teaming up to help their customers reduce their energy consumption and their bills.
The Yukon Energy Corporation and Yukon Electrical Company Limited announced the energy conservation plan at a public meeting in Whitehorse Wednesday.
Yukon's electrical utility companies recently applied to increase power rates by more than 20 per cent. The companies say the energy conservation plan will give Yukoners a way to combat rising power bills.
"This is your basic rebate program pretty much like anything you would see in any other product line where you purchase a product and receive a rebate from the utilities for purchasing that product and installing it," said Laura Carlson with the Yukon Electrical Company.
The utilities are hoping rebates on LED light bulbs and timers for block heaters will help slow the spin on electrical meters.
They're also offering incentives for builders to encourage energy-saving construction. That would then help reduce the need to build expensive new power projects to meet increasing demand.
The power companies say it would cost 21 cents per kilowatt hour to build new electrical generation capacity. This program is expected to cut that need and will cost customers 16 cents per kilowatt hour.
"It's a two-part issue," said Carlson. "Yes, we have increasing rates but we need to help the customer be educated and give them the tools they need to help keep those usages down."
At a public meeting to unveil the plan some customers said they already have block heater timers and are now looking for help with solar heating or other alternatives.
Yukon Energy and Yukon Electrical say those may come in the future as this plan is only a beginning.