Nova Scotia Power Proposes Profit Grab During Affordability Crisis

People will be forced to dig even deeper into their pockets if a multi-pronged proposal from Nova Scotia Power (NSPI) to increase profits is approved.

Included in NSPI’s 10 per cent rate hike application is a request to increase both their rate of return and return on equity. But what has flown under the radar is the utility’s request to dismantle the Earnings Sharing Mechanism (ESM) – an agreement that traditionally returned all of NSPI’s overearnings to Nova Scotians. Between 2009-2020, that money totalled $131 million.

Now, NSPI is asking to keep 50 per cent of these funds – a move that would dramatically increase their profits at the expense of Nova Scotians.

“For Nova Scotia Power to ask for more profits while people are struggling to make ends meet is unacceptable,” says Natural Resources and Renewables critic Carman Kerr. “When you look at each of these requests combined, one thing is clear – the utility is focused on improving their bottom line more than improving the lives of Nova Scotians.”

A freedom of information request received by the Liberal Party shows the Houston government was aware of each of these requests and their consequences months ago, but did nothing to stop it.

“The Houston government has ignored every aspect of this cost-of-living crisis, including this proposal from Nova Scotia Power,” says Kerr. “They cannot continue to sit idly by while the utility treats Nova Scotians as an ATM.”