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UARB approves Nova Scotia Power request to increase rates


The power lines at Tufts Cove. - Ryan Taplin
The province's utility and review board has given Nova Scotia Power permission to increase rates for the next three years to cover its fuel costs. - Ryan Taplin / File
HALIFAX, N.S. —

Nova Scotia Power customers may see more expensive power bills over the next three years.

The utility was given permission to increase rates to cover its fuel costs, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ruled in a decision released Friday. 

Residential customers will see an average increase by about $1.90 a month, depending on consumption, NSP spokeswoman Andrea Anderson said in an emailed statement. 

NSP’s three-year fuel stability plan estimates it will pay nearly $2 billion for fuel, based on projected fuel costs, to generate electricity.

“The board is satisfied that the proposed base cost of fuel budget will now be aligned with the base cost of fuel revenue requested through rates in N.S. Power’s application,” reads the UARB decision. 

A rate-smoothing mechanism will also be put in place. 

“There would be significant uneven rate changes for customers over the next three years” without a smoothing mechanism, Nova Scotia Power said. 

NSP hasn’t decided if it will seek an increase to cover non-fuel costs, such as labour, equipment and supplies. The utility is not able to file a general rate application (GRA) until 2020. 

“A disciplined focus on internal cost restraint has enabled Nova Scotia Power to avoid seeking an increase in non-fuel costs since the 2014 general rate application,” Anderson said. 

“We haven’t determined when we will file the next GRA. We remain committed to continuing our efforts to avoid non-fuel increases for our customers.” 

Exact rates are to be disclosed by NSP in a compliance filing no later than Friday.

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