Nova Scotia’s utility regulator has defied the provincial government and approved an average 14 per cent increase in electricity rates over two years.
Premier Tim Houston said last November that his government opposed the increase of 6.9 per cent in both 2023 and 2024, which had been agreed to by Nova Scotia Power and most customer representative groups.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board said today it will stick with the rate hikes in the agreement, defying the government’s position.
The Houston government adopted Bill 212 last fall that capped annual rate increases to 1.8 per cent — but that cap didn’t include costs related to fuel or energy efficiency programs.
Houston had argued that by accepting projected fuel costs as the basis for the 2024 rate hike, the utility would be less motivated to mitigate those costs.
The board says in its decision that it couldn’t allow “reasonable” costs to make rates more affordable.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2023.