Our customers expect and deserve reliable electricity service. That’s why we're held accountable to annual performance standards that measure how well we do to keep service reliable and respond to our customers in a timely manner.
We asked Charlene MacMullin, Performance Standards Manager, to talk a bit more about what our performance standards measure, how they’re set, and what we do to stay on track.
Why are performance standards so important?
Performance standards hold us accountable. They ensure we’re able to demonstrate how we’re staying on track and where we’ve made improvements to strengthen our grid and service for our customers.
We’ve been responsible for meeting annual performance standards since 2017. They're set every year by our regulator, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSURB). We provide updates to the regulator quarterly and annually.
What are the key areas that Nova Scotia Power is measured against?
We're expected to meet performance standards targets in three key categories:
- Day-to-day customer service, which includes how quick we are to answer customer calls, turnaround time of key customer service requests, how outage information is shared, and the amount of estimated bills.
- Storm response, which includes our company’s response to major and extreme storms, like hurricanes and strong wind events.
- Reliability of service, which includes how often customers experience a power outage on average and how long the outage lasts, as well as monitoring specific parts of the power system that experience the most outages and the longest outages.
How are performance standards determined each year?
We undergo a thorough review process with the UARB to recalculate our standards each year. Half of the standards are fixed for five years (2016–2021) and the others are generated using a mathematical formula and the previous year’s results.
What do you do to ensure you meet the targets?
We take our reliability commitment to customers very seriously. We're committed to meeting and exceeding the performance standards every year. We develop proactive plans and invest $180 million each year on reliability work, like trimming or removing trees that are too close to power lines, moving power lines to the road to improve accessibility, and upgrading equipment in areas that require maintenance.
We do everything we can to meet the targets—if we don’t, we develop action plans to address how we can improve.
How can I find out how Nova Scotia Power is trending over the course of the year?
Each quarter, we share our year-to-date results on our website at www.nspower.ca/performancestandards. We also submit an annual report to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board which explains our progress in more detail.
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