HALIFAX, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - An agreement has been reached with customer
representatives regarding 2009 electricity rates, Nova Scotia Power announced
The settlement agreement would result in an average rate increase of 9.4%
for most Nova Scotia Power customers, effective January 1, 2009. Electricity
rates in Nova Scotia last increased on April 1, 2007.
The settlement agreement is subject to review and approval by the Nova
Scotia Utility and Review Board, as part of a hearing process that starts
"We appreciate the contribution by customer advocates in achieving this
agreement," said Rob Bennett, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. "With
certainty about rates for 2009, the Company can focus on reliability and
customer service, as well continuing to add new sources of renewable energy
which will help with price stability for the long term."
The agreement means the average electricity bill in Nova Scotia will
increase by about $9 per month, starting next January. Monthly bills for
customers who heat with electricity will increase an average of more than
$14 per month.
Most of the 2009 rate adjustment will help pay for higher world commodity
costs for coal and other fuels used to make electricity in Nova Scotia. The
remainder is primarily for customer service and reliability improvements,
including hiring and retaining skilled tradespeople.
The settlement includes acceptance of a Fuel Adjustment Mechanism (FAM)
to start on January 1, 2009, although there would be no FAM-related rate
adjustment before 2010. It also reduces the Company's return on equity (ROE)
to 9.35% from 9.55%.
The agreement includes provision for Nova Scotia Power to spend more in
2009 on tree trimming. The company has agreed to a reduction of $12 million
less than originally requested for operating and financial expenses, and has
agreed to amortize costs for conservation and efficiency programs over a
longer period of time.
Parties to the settlement agreement include: Nova Scotia Power, the
Consumer and Small Business Advocate, NewPage Port Hawkesbury, Bowater Mersey
Paper Company, the Avon Group, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the
Municipal Electric Utilities of Nova Scotia Cooperative, and Halifax Regional
Nova Scotia Power had announced in late May that it would request an
average 2009 rate adjustment of 11.9%, driven by the large increases in world
fuel prices since Nova Scotia electricity rates were last adjusted in 2007.
About Nova Scotia Power
Nova Scotia Power Inc. is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera
Inc. (TSX-EMA), a diversified energy and services company. Nova Scotia Power
provides more than 95% of the generation, transmission and distribution of
electrical power to 478,000 customers in the province. The company is focused
on new technologies to enhance customer service and reliability, reduce
emissions and add renewable energy. Nova Scotia Power has 1,700 employees and
$3 billion in assets.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: Margaret Murphy, Nova Scotia
Power Inc., (902) 428-6436 - office, (902) 223-6015 - cellular,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com; Analysts and
Institutional Investors Contact: Jennifer Nicholson, CA, Emera Inc., Director
Investor Relations and Strategic Development, (902) 428-6347,