SAINT JOHN, NB – An Atlantic analyst says New Brunswickers better brace for a sizable increase in power rates when a three-year rate freeze expires.

Charles Cirtwill of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies says the freeze is only putting off what the government will eventually need to finance upgrades and changes to the energy system.

He says the impending rate increase would likely be brought in gradually, because a sharp hike could hurt the government at the ballot box.