Power bills going up average of 3.8 per cent in Nova Scotia - regulator

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX (CP) Power bills are going up in Nova Scotia by an average of 3.8 per cent starting April 1.

The rate increase will be 4.8 per cent for residential customers.

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board issued a decision on Monday that approves the main elements of a negotiated settlement between Nova Scotia Power (TSX:EMA) and its major customers.

The total average increase is about half the 7.5 per cent hike the utility had requested before the negotiated settlement.

The board will also hold a hearing in June to decide if a system to automatically adjust power bills to reflect the utilitys fuel costs should be set up.

However, the board says there are prerequisites that must be in place before it will consider such a system, including a meaningful audit process of the figures that the utility submits for its fuel expenses.

Ralph Tedesco, the president of Nova Scotia Power, says in a news release that the decision is balanced.

We know that any increase in the price of electricity is difficult for many of our customers, said Tedesco.

Todays decision puts us on the path to ensuring that only actual fuel costs are reflected in the price customers pay for electricity.

Tedesco also said hes pleased theres a process to develop a fuel adjustment mechanism.

Pending approval by the board, the fuel adjustment mechanism will ensure customers pay no more than the actual price of fuel Nova Scotia Power uses to make electricity.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, HALIFAX, Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board TSX

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • Karen
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    I am appaulled that NS Power can keep getting increases for power every 4-6 months. We are a low income family who has their own home, can barely afford groceries, phone, and the electricity and NS Power wants to increase rates. In the last 4 years we have had our power shut off 8 times, the last time NS Power wanted a $350 desposit in order to have my power turned back on. How can low income families afford to keep the one true necessity in life to live if they keep putting rates up. You hear on the news about the hearing boards saying yes to giving their increases but you never hear anything about low income people who can't afford it and I am tired of the poor person getting shafted. It is about time the Nova Scotia government starting thinking about the little man before giving away their hard earned money. Not bad enough we are taxed to death we have to sell our body parts just to keep warm.