Utility companies recover their costs from their customers using fixed monthly charges (referred to as customer charges), demand charges and energy charges. While demand charges are based on peak period use, energy charges are based on units of consumption (i.e. kilowatt-hours (kW.h) of electricity).
The utility companies that are subject to full regulation, cannot change the rates they charge customers without first obtaining approval of the PUB. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Northland Utilities (NWT) Limited and Northland Utilities (Yellowknife) Limited are subject to full regulation of the PUB. While these utilities' rates do not change frequently, they do change from time to time to reflect changes in their capital and operating costs.
Stittco Utilities NWT Ltd,, Ardrii District Heating System and Inuvik Gas Ltd are exempt under Section 18 of the Public Utilities Act from full regulation by the PUB because there are competitive alternatives to their energy supply. The exempt utilities are required to file their rate changes with the Board prior to such changes taking effect. If a complaint were to be filed by a customer with respect to the rates charged by a Section 18 exempt utility the Board will investigate and if required, establish just and reasonable rates.