A consumers’ group says Manitoba Hydro’s proposal to raise rates by 7.9% per year isn’t needed and threatens to hurt low-income ratepayers.

But Hydro believes the reliability of its service could be compromised if bills don’t rise at that rate.

The Consumers Coalition – a partnership of Winnipeg Harvest and the Consumers’ Association of Canada’s (CAC) Manitoba branch – filed five reports in advance of Public Utilities Board hearings for some of the rate hikes. The hearings begin Dec. 4.