Last year, provincial government legislation changed Nova Scotia Power’s relationship with Efficiency Nova Scotia (ENS) and how electricity efficiency programs are funded.
ENS is now a franchise of the Government of Nova Scotia and will be operated for the next 10 years by the corporation Efficiency One, a new entity created from ENS. Efficiency One (E1) is now a public utility designated to provide Nova Scotia Power with “reasonably available, cost-effective” energy efficiency programming.
Nova Scotia Power is obligated under this legislation to negotiate a contract with Efficiency One for 2016-18 for the procurement of energy efficiency services and programming. Those costs are then passed along to customers through power rates.
Nova Scotia Power and E1 were unable to reach full agreement on a recommendation for DSM funding, so each party has separately filed their case with the Utility and Review Board. ENS has recommended spending approximately $40 million per year to save 133-136 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. Nova Scotia Power has recommended spending approximately $22 million per year for energy savings of approximately 100 GWh.
A hearing before the UARB is scheduled for June 15th, 2015. That’s when NSP will argue that the proposed Efficiency One plan is neither cost-effective nor affordable for customers when measured in context of the following:
- Its plan recommends demand side management (DSM) spending that is among the highest in Canada on both a per-capita basis and a per-customer basis.
- The level of DSM proposed by ENS is significantly more than required to avoid capacity outlays by NS Power
- Additional DSM is not needed during the current contract period for compliance with Nova Scotia’s Renewable Electricity Standards or to meet power system delivery.
Nova Scotia Power supports meaningful, affordable and cost-effective demand side management that will help to provide stable, predictable and affordable electricity prices for Nova Scotians. That’s why we are recommending a robust DSM plan that aligns with the Canadian average, and that is why we are investing up to $37 million over 10 years to finance energy efficiency upgrades for nearly 6,600 low income homeowners who heat with electricity.
Efficiency programming helps to avoid capital expenditures and is the right thing to do, but we can only support spending customer dollars on DSM at an affordable level.
A complete record of documents can be found on https://nsuarb.novascotia.ca under Matter M06733.
2016-2018 DSM Plan - NS Power Evidence
2016-2018 DSM Plan - Board Order