Rate Stability Plan

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Rate Stability Plan

We’ve been working hard to stabilize power rates, while at the same time completing the most ambitious transition to renewable energy in Canada.

Maritime Link Credit

fuel

The Maritime Link is part of a strategy to address the growing demand for more renewable energy. It will enable the transmission of clean, renewable and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia and beyond.

Our current approved rates for 2017–19 include the costs associated with the Maritime Link for 2018 and 2019. Due to a construction delay at the Muskrat Falls Generation Station in Newfoundland and Labrador, the block of renewable energy reserved for Nova Scotia will be delayed until 2020. As a result, customers will be refunded certain Maritime Link-related costs that had been previously factored into our rates.

How much customers get back will depend on their individual power usage. Most residential customers should receive between $15.00 and $65.00. The 2017 credit will appear automatically on electricity bills received in March or April of 2018. Current customers do not need to apply for the credit.

Click here to learn more or read our Q&A below.

CUSTOMER Q&As

  

Q: What is the Maritime Link credit?

A: The Maritime Link Credit is in recognition of the delay in delivering Nova Scotia’s block of renewable energy. NS Power is rebating certain Maritime Link costs that have already been factored into rates.

Q: Will I also receive a Maritime Link credit next year?

A: Yes. The Maritime Link Credit will be applied to customer accounts this year, and again in 2019 and in 2020.

Q: Who will receive the credit?

A: All active and current residential and commercial customers will receive the credit.

*Former customers may apply on-line or by calling Customer Care beginning May 1st. If eligible, the credit will be paid in the form of a cheque.

Q: How will I get my credit?

A: Current NS Power customers will automatically receive the rebate in the form of an on-bill credit. You do not need to apply.

Q: When will I get my credit?

A: The credit will appear on your account statement in March or April.

*If you are billed monthly, your credit will appear on your March statement.

*If you have a seasonal account (i.e. for a cottage) your credit will appear on your first bill in June or July.

Q: How much will I get?

A:The refund amount will depend on your individual power usage in 2017. An average residential customer will see an on-bill credit in the range of $15.00 to $65.00.

Q: I have two NS Power accounts. Will I receive two rebates?

A:Each account will receive an on-bill credit. The amount will depend on your usage from 2017.

Q: Where will I see the credit on my bill?


What is the Rate Stability Plan?

To provide you with more predictable power rates, we’ve worked with customer representatives to create a 2017-19 Rate Stability Plan. In each of the three years of the plan, residential electricity rates will increase by 1.7%. This increase goes directly towards paying for renewable energy contracts and the fuel used to generate electricity.

The increase is in keeping with, or slightly below, projected inflation for 2017 to 2019. For the average household, the increase equates to $2.10. That figure will vary based on an individual household’s electricity use. For example, larger homes with older appliances, or poor insulation, use more electricity, particularly during the winter months.

Power rates have been stable in Nova Scotia since 2014. Residential rates did not rise in 2015, and they went down slightly in 2016.

How has Nova Scotia Power stabilized rates?

We’ve been working hard to stabilize power rates, while at the same time completing the most ambitious transition to renewable energy in Canada. We’ve done this because customers have told us they want stable, predictable and affordable electricity pricing that they can depend on and budget around.

Across Nova Scotia Power, we’ve focused on that goal. Our investments in diverse electricity sources, prudent fuel procurement, and strict corporate cost control have allowed us to offer greater predictability and stability for our customers.

How much are rates changing?

The Rate Stability Plan will see power rates for all customers increase on average 1.5% – slightly below projected inflation – in each of 2017, 2018, and 2019. For most customers, rates didn’t rise in 2015 and went down in 2016.

Rate changes in 2017 through 2019 will vary by customer class, largely due to how much each class owes for unpaid costs for Efficiency Nova Scotia programming and fuel. This is particularly true for the Large General class of commercial customers.

Five years of rate stability

Customer Class
2015
 2016  2017  2018  2019 5 Year avg.
Residential 0%  -0.9%  1.7%  1.7% 1.7%
0.8%
Small General  -4.5%   -2.2% 1.8%
1.8%
 1.8% -0.3%
General Demand 0%  -1.3%  0.9%  0.9%   0.9% 0.3%
Large General  1.5%   0%  3.7%  3.7%   3.7% 2.5%
Small Industrial 0%  -1.8%  1.2%  1.2%   1.2%  0.4%
Medium Industrial 1.5%  0%  1.6%  1.6%   1.6% 1.3%
Large Industrial 1.5%  0%  1.4%  1.4%   1.4%  1.1%

Why are rates increasing?

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.

Because cost changes in electricity are being driven by renewable energy contracts and fuel costs, the Rate Stability Plan was submitted to the Utility and Review Board for approval under the Fuel Adjustment Mechanism. Nova Scotia Power has committed to not file a General Rate Application in 2017 through 2019.

How does the Maritime Link factor into this?

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 legislated requirement of generating 40% of electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

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.