Summerside after Maritime Electric customers
Summerside's electrical utility would like to take charge of customers within the city limits now being served by Maritime Electric.
The city's municipal utility serves most residents, but about 600 homes are on the grid of Maritime Electric, the province's main electricity provider. Coun. Cory Thomas is getting calls from residents in his ward who want to switch.
"It's a city-owned electric utility and the shareholders are the residents, so fundamentally many of the believe they should be on the city utility," said Thomas.
Local MLA Paula Biggar raised the issue in the legislature this fall, but Maritime Electric doesn't want to give up its customers.
Switching customers could be a two-way street: the Summerside utility serves customers outside the city limits. Thomas said he would be willing to sit down and negotiate a swap with Maritime Electric.
"As a councillor, I would be 100 per cent in favour of that," he said.
"I can't speak for all councillors, but the impression I got from talking to other councillors and the mayor is that certainly we're open to negotiations. We've tried negotiations and haven't gotten very far with that."
The city says it's time to sit down with provincial Energy Minister Richard Brown to discuss making some changes.
One thing residents won't get if they switch is lower energy prices. The city of Summerside keeps its rates the same as Maritime Electric's, and has no plans to change that policy.