NS Power update on reducing costs for customers

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NS Power update on reducing costs for customers

May 29, 2014

HALIFAX - This afternoon, Nova Scotia Power informed the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW - Local 1928) and employees of the results of two requests for proposals under consideration by the company to save money for customers.  

In October 2013, NS Power announced a request for proposals (RFP) process for qualified vendors interested in providing certain services.  Through that process, NS Power has determined that it can save money for customers by contracting out transmission and distribution line inspections. This could potentially impact up to 10 positions. The company also informed the IBEW and employees that it intends to continue contracting out transmission and distribution capital work.  This work is currently outsourced, as such there will not be any employee impacts related to this decision.  

NS Power met with the IBEW today to review the results of NS Power’s RFP analysis. The company and union will meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the decisions in greater detail, potential employee impacts, and the union’s response. 

“We have undertaken a complex process, and we are confident that these are the right decisions for our customers,” said Bob Hanf, President and CEO, Nova Scotia Power. “We have an obligation to our customers to do everything we can to reduce costs while maintaining safety, customer service and reliability. Every part of Nova Scotia Power is being examined for potential savings. Investigating outsourcing options is part of that work.”

NS Power has signed letters of intent with the suppliers. Formal contracts wouldn’t be entered into until after the IBEW has had an opportunity to respond.  The company will continue to follow the process of the collective agreement and will work to minimize the impact to employees.

Nova Scotia Power is focused on affordability for its customers. Last month the company announced that it will not file a general rate application to increase base power rates in 2015. The company is also proposing no fuel rate increase for 2015.

Decisions on other areas of work being reviewed for potential outsourcing are expected in the coming months.

Nova Scotia Power has previously contracted out functions including: line work, tree trimming, boiler and turbine work, information technology, printing services, billing services, coal handling, and various aspects of capital construction and infrastructure maintenance.