Province introduces amendments increasing potential fines to N.S. Power

Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. (Communications N.S. Photo)

From a release:

HALIFAX: Amendments to the Public Utilities Act introduced March 22, will hold Nova Scotia Power more accountable for service delivery by increasing potential fines related to power outages and other performance standards, the provincial Minister responsible for the file said.

“Nova Scotia ratepayers deserve reliable electricity and better service, so we are linking Nova Scotia Power’s profits to their performance,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables.

“We’re increasing the maximum potential penalty for things like power outages and reliability. This will make the utility more accountable and motivate better service delivery.”

Changes to the act will increase the total amount in administrative penalties that can be levied against Nova Scotia Power in a year to $25 million, up from $1 million.

Nova Scotia Power will pay any fines from its profits – ratepayers will not pay for these penalties.

The proceeds from some penalties will go into a new fund to compensate customers who are most affected by the outages.

The details of the new fund and how it will be managed will be outlined in future regulations.

Quick Facts:
— from 2017 to 2021, Nova Scotians saw an average of 5.5 outages per year; an average of 3.4 were caused by storms
— the Department is working on regulations to create new performance standards and penalties
— penalty amounts may be specified in regulations or determined by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board