HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Power announced today that it will not file a General Rate Application for the next three years. The utility is seeking only fuel cost adjustments at less than the projected rate of inflation through to the end of 2019.
The details are contained in NSP’s Rate Stability Plan, filed today with its public regulator, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB). If approved, the Rate Stability Plan would extend the period of stable, predictable electricity rates that began last year through to the end of 2019.
“Nova Scotians have told us they want stable, predictable power rates, and our employees have done the hard work necessary to deliver them,” said Bob Hanf, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “I am pleased today to announce that Nova Scotia Power won’t file a General Rate Application for 2017, 2018 or 2019. We will only seek fuel cost adjustments, at less than inflation.”
Broadly speaking, Nova Scotia Power’s expenses fall into two categories governed by two separate regulatory processes:
- Fuel costs: The fuels used to generate electricity, such as coal and natural gas, as well as renewable energy contracts. By law, these costs are a direct flow-through to customers, meaning Nova Scotia Power does not make money off of fuel. Fuel costs are governed by the Fuel Adjustment Mechanism.
- Non-fuel costs: All other company costs, including labour, equipment and supplies. Non-fuel costs are set through General Rate Applications.
The application submitted today to the UARB is being made under the Fuel Adjustment Mechanism. It would see power rates for all customers increase on average 1.3% – less than inflation – in each of 2017, 2018, and 2019. For residential customers this translates into an increase of 1.4%, or $2 per month for the average residential customer. Residential rates didn’t rise in 2015 and they went down this year.
Residential Rate Changes
| 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019|
| 0% || -0.9% || 1.4% || 1.4% || 1.4%|
“Our customers will have stable, predictable and affordable electricity pricing that they can depend on and budget around,” Hanf said. “Our investments in diverse electricity sources, prudent fuel procurement, and strict corporate cost control allow us to offer greater predictability and stability for our customers. We’ve accomplished this while at the same time achieving the most ambitious transition to renewable energy in Canada, and significantly cutting our greenhouse gas emissions.”
Nova Scotia Power achieved a new record in renewable energy in 2015, with 26.6% of the electricity coming from renewable resources – beating the legislated requirement of 25%. As recently as 2007, only 9% of Nova Scotia’s electricity was renewable. By 2020, NSP is required by law to be at 40% renewable, and to have cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% compared to 2010.
The Rate Stability Plan includes integrating the first two years of Maritime Link costs into power rates. The Maritime Link is the subsea transmission line being constructed between Newfoundland and Cape Breton, which will deliver hydroelectricity from Muskrat Falls in Labrador. The Maritime Link is central to NSP’s plan to achieve its 2020 renewable and emissions requirements.
The Rate Stability Plan supports the goals of the Electricity Plan brought forward by the Government of Nova Scotia late last year. Learn more about rate stability at Nova Scotia Power at www.nspower.ca/ratestabilityplan