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Manitoba Hydro is projecting it will need an annual 7.9 per cent rate increase for the next seven years to help find its financial footing.

That's up from a 7.9 per cent annual increase over five years previously projected. A formal request for a 7.9 per cent increase this year and next year was rejected by the Public Utilities Board in July. The PUB instead allowed for a 3.36 per cent interim increase. In a letter to the PUB, Hydro says that move will delay the utility's forecast achievement of 25 per cent minimum target equity ratio to 2031/32.

Hydro spokesperson Scott Powell tells Classic 107, through email, the new seven year projection is due to the compounding effect of the lower increase granted by the PUB. He says in order for Hydro to get its 10-year better-financial-health plan back on track, the additional two years are required, along with a 4.54 per cent increase in 2024/25.

Hydro says in its letter, dated September 5th and signed by president and CEO Kelvin Shepherd, it's "committed to restoring its financial health over a 10 year period, as to do so is in the long-term interests of its ratepayers."

Powell says Hydro's plan includes more than rate increases, although they are a critical component. The plan, he says, also includes a workforce reduction, finding ways of improving efficiency and productivity, and increasing revenue made through energy exports to Canada and the US.

The PUB will hold public hearings on Hydro's application beginning in December.