Enough Is Enough With Rising Power Rates
Dartmouth Cole Harbour Weekly News
May 24, 2012
Electricity prices have increased over 20% in the last three years, and over 40% in the past decade. Now we have all heard that Nova Scotia Power wants more money from us in each of the next few years.
I’ve been fighting rising power rates for many years. I’ve intervened at all of the rate hearings since I was elected MLA. There have been some small successes at the hearings, but it is time for government to get directly involved and tackle rising power rates in a meaningful way.
The Liberal Caucus has presented a number of proposals and introduced legislation to reign in power rates. We believe we need to start putting ratepayers first, not shareholders. Some of our ideas include reducing Nova Scotia Power’s rate of return, permanently stopping executive bonuses from being paid by ratepayers, requiring regular value and performance audits of Nova Scotia Power operations, reducing the regulatory costs passed onto ratepayers, and allowing competition by renewable energy suppliers within a properly and well regulated market. We’ve also committed to removing the new electricity tax the NDP placed on every power bill in the province. We will require shareholders pay the $43 million that is being taken from your pocket in the coming year as a result of that tax. Each one of these steps would help to control rising power rates. Each proposal rebalances the electricity market so ratepayers are treated fairly.
Some proposals go beyond just rates. Allowing renewable energy suppliers to compete with Nova Scotia Power in a regulated market breaks Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly and their stranglehold over Nova Scotians’ pocketbooks. It helps you and helps our economy. It means investment and opportunities in a green economy for Nova Scotia. The Department of Energy’s own studies and other independent studies recommend this action. It was supported by the NDP when they were in opposition yet now they oppose it, just like they oppose every other proposal mentioned above that would benefit ratepayers over shareholders. The NDP are choosing shareholders over ratepayers in the battle over rising power rates and that isn’t good enough for Nova Scotians.
Strong and meaningful regulation of the electricity market. A government that will fight for you against rapidly rising power rates. Fairness in how you are treated by Nova Scotia Power. That’s what the Liberal Caucus and I believe in. You deserve nothing less.
Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts at my office. My phone number is 406-4420 and my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org