Nova Scotia government passes bill capping power rate increase

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government has passed legislation to limit a pending power rate increase to 1.8 per cent over the next two years — excluding increases linked to fuel costs.

Nova Scotia Power had applied for a 14 per cent increase over two years with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, which is expected to release its decision by the end of December.

Natural Resources Minister Tory Rushton has said the amendments to the Public Utilities Act are aimed at limiting the effects of a rate increase on consumers.

However, Rushton has also said that a significant increase is likely still in store for customers because of the rising cost of fuel that is affecting the private utility.

The legislation also prevents the review board from increasing the utility's rate of return on equity to more than 9.25 per cent.

Nova Scotia Power has said the legislation will restrict its ability to make the immediate investments needed to strengthen the power grid and move to renewable sources of energy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press