NS Power and NDP sidestepping disclosure of key information: Baillie
HALIFAX, NS – Nova Scotia Power blacked out the price for a kilowatt hour of wind power in an information request response to the Progressive Conservatives, who are actively intervening in power rate hearings on behalf of all Nova Scotians.
The power company was also asked to provide a cost per kilowatt hour for electricity from the Muskrat Falls project, but it too was left blank.
“Nova Scotians deserve facts, but what they get are blacked-out prices and blanks where the cost of power should be,” said PC leader Jamie Baillie. “The NDP tell us to ‘bite the bullet’ and pay more and more for power, while allowing NSP to hide the true costs. That's unacceptable.”
In preparation for the upcoming UARB hearing, the PCs asked for the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity from all sources used by Nova Scotia Power. The information provided by Nova Scotia Power shows the price for solid fuel, natural gas, new biomass, hydro and new tidal, but deliberately blacks out wind and omits Muskrat Falls altogether (see PDF link below).
The buyers of the Port Hawkesbury mill told the UARB they can’t save the mill, and the jobs that go with it, if they are forced to pay for the NDP’s extreme renewable energy standards. Baillie says this is a message that all Nova Scotians can relate to.
On Friday, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Energy wrote to the UARB indicating that ratepayers won’t be forced to cover these costs, but was silent on who would be, leaving Nova Scotia taxpayers at risk of holding the bag.
“Nova Scotia ratepayers and taxpayers are the same people, and under the NDP they are maxed out,” says Baillie. “They deserve better than secrecy and blanks from both the power company and their government.”
Baillie says renewables are a growing and important part of the power generation mix in Nova Scotia, but renewable energy standards must be set in a way that protects jobs, like those at the Port Hawkesbury mill, and all across Nova Scotia.
The Progressive Conservatives, on behalf of Nova Scotia ratepayers, are intervening in the upcoming UARB hearing into Nova Scotia Power’s request for a six per cent electricity rate increase over the next two years.
The PCs spoke out against Nova Scotia Power’s plan to bailout their pension plan shortfall by raising rates. The PCs also successfully applied to the UARB to review the extraordinary censorship of an auditor’s report that outlined $22 million in alleged “avoidable” and “imprudent” fuel costs. The power company has until July 25th to justify to the board why the information is blacked out.
The PCs also introduced five pieces of legislation aimed at making affordability a priority in power rates. They also introduced legislation and amendments to ensure the Muskrat Falls project is properly costed before proceeding. The NDP rejected all of these suggestions.
View PDF document here: www.pccaucus.ns.ca/files/userfiles/20120625NSPI(PC)IR6REDACTED.pdf