NS Power discusses Rate Stabilization Plan with customer representatives

HALIFAX, May 5 /CNW/ - Nova Scotia Power met with customer representatives today (May 5) to discuss a plan that would stabilize growth in electricity prices for three years. The proposed Rate Stabilization Plan would hold rate increases to four percent per year for 2012 to 2014 for each customer class.

"By using some short-term deferrals of expenses, we can smooth price changes for customers over the next three years," said Rene Gallant, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Nova Scotia Power. "We strive to ensure that electricity prices are as low as possible for our customers, and that any price changes are as manageable as possible. This plan will help."

Last month, NS Power initiated a public discussion with customer representatives aimed at developing a multi-year approach to smooth increases in electricity rates through 2014.  The Rate Stabilization Plan builds on that effort.

In order for a rate change to take effect on January 1, 2012, Nova Scotia Power will be required to file a General Rate Application with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) later this month. Nova Scotia Power has not yet made a final decision to make such a filing.  General rates were last adjusted on January 1, 2009.  Nova Scotia Power has been able to avoid filing a general rate application for three years, thanks to prudent management of expenses, tax credits from renewable energy projects, and the ability of the UARB to adjust fuel expense recovery through the Fuel Adjustment Mechanism (FAM).

"Our customers have benefitted from Nova Scotia Power being able to avoid a general rate application for three years," Mr. Gallant said. "However, since 2009, we've made substantial investments in infrastructure, reliability improvements, and recruiting and retaining skilled workers. Those investments haven't been accounted for in rates, and coal prices are continuing to climb."

Using current rates, 2012 revenues would be $94.4 million less than forecasted requirements of $1.34 billion. Without the Rate Stabilization Plan, NS Power is forecasting average increases in general rates of 9 percent in 2012, four percent in 2013 and two percent in 2014. The Plan proposes to defer recovery of fuel cost increases for three years. Recovery of deferred costs would begin in 2015.

If approved by the UARB, new general electricity rates would take effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements which reflect the current views of Nova Scotia Power with respect to the Company's objectives, plans, financial and operating performance, business prospects and opportunities. Wherever used, the words "would", "may", "will", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "estimate", "plan", "believe" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information should not be read as guarantees of future events, performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at which, such events, performance or results will be achieved. Nova Scotia Power disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.

About Nova Scotia Power
Nova Scotia Power (TSX-NSI.PR.D) has provided electricity to Nova Scotians for more than 80 years. The company provides electricity generation, transmission and distribution services to almost 490,000 customers in the province. Nova Scotia Power is transforming its generation to reduce its carbon footprint and enable new economic activity by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. The company has $4.0 billion in assets and approximately 2,000 employees who are dedicated to safe work, enhanced customer service, system reliability and serving their communities. Nova Scotia Power is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Halifax-based Emera Inc., whose shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol EMA.

SOURCE NOVA SCOTIA POWER INC.

For further information:

David Rodenhiser
Nova Scotia Power
(902) 428-6474 (P)
(902) 229-3147 (C)
david.rodenhiser@nspower.ca

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NOVA SCOTIA POWER INC.

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