NS Power update on reducing costs for customers

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NS Power update on reducing costs for customers

June 19, 2014

Halifax, NS - This afternoon, Nova Scotia Power informed leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW - Local 1928) and employees of the result of a request for proposals under consideration by the company to save money for customers. 

Nova Scotia Power announced a request for proposals (RFP) process in the fall for qualified vendors interested in providing certain services presently provided by the company’s employees. Through that process, it was determined that the company can save money for customers by contracting out coal and ash handling work at its thermal generating station in Trenton. This change could impact up to 13 positions at the plant. 

This same work has been contracted out to an external vendor for close to ten years at the Point Tupper Generating Station. Similar type of work is also under review at our Point Aconi and Lingan thermal sites. 

Today’s decision follows two others that were announced by the company on May 29; those pertained to transmission and distribution line inspection work and transmission and distribution capital work. 

“This decision was made as part of our commitment to our customers to reduce costs,” said Bob Hanf, President and CEO, Nova Scotia Power. “This is a complex process. I’m confident that we are making the right decisions for our customers, and it’s important that we continue to work with our union on any potential changes.” 

The company has met with the IBEW to review NS Power’s RFP analysis and discuss the outsourcing decision in greater detail. The company and union will meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the union’s response. No layoff notices have been issued at this time. 

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

Nova Scotia Power is focused on affordability for its customers. In April 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. 

To reduce customer costs, 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.