NS Power fuel costs lower as a result of government decision

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NS Power fuel costs lower as a result of government decision

August 16, 2010

HALIFAX, NS – Nova Scotia Power today applied to its regulator for recovery of 2010 fuel costs and anticipated fuel costs in 2011. Fuel expenses next year are expected to be $60 million lower than recently forecasted because of a government decision on mercury emissions, which cut in half potential 2011 fuel price increases.

“The government’s decision to manage mercury emissions differently over the next decade reduces the burden of rising fuel prices on customers - especially next year,” said Rob Bennett, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “Fuel is the largest cost in making electricity for customers. The cost of foreign fossil fuels continues to be volatile, but the addition of renewable wind energy this year will not only mean cleaner electricity for customers, it will help stabilize the price of electricity over the long term.”

Fuel costs are audited and verified by the Utility and Review Board, and customers pay only the actual cost of fuel used to make electricity. The Board will hold a public hearing in October regarding proposed 2011 changes in electricity prices and more information will be filed with the regulator in November.

The estimated total adjustments starting next January are 6.5% for residential customers, 8.6% for commercial classes and 11.3% for industrial classes. Most of the change relates to fuel costs incurred earlier this year.

Nova Scotia Power has been on track to meet an annual mercury emissions cap of 65 kilograms. The Province of Nova Scotia announced last month that the annual limit between 2010 and 2014 would be changed to reflect concerns over fuel costs, although total emissions between now and 2020 will remain the same or lower. Once the regulations are in place, NS Power will present to government a strategy to meet the new requirements.