Liberals oppose request to hike N.S. Power bill
Efficiency Nova Scotia wants to pass tax mistake onto homeowners
The Liberal government wants to stop Efficiency Nova Scotia from raising power bills to cover a tax mistake.
Faced with a tax ruling that cost it roughly $5 million, Efficiency Nova Scotia wants to make up the difference by tacking on an increase to power bills.
The agency is responsible for the province’s energy efficiency efforts. It is funded by electricity customers and is applying to the Utility and Review Board for a one-time rate hike.
The agency says it will cost the average household $11 for the year.
"What's important for us is the value of energy efficiency," spokeswoman Leanne Hachey said. "So it's around $63 a year the average family will be paying for energy efficiency."
She said it was money well spent. "That is around 3.5 percent of your overall power bill. For us, that's the workhorse of your power bill. That's the one that's punching above its weight to lower your overall power bill."
Liberals say 'enough is enough'
But the agency's reliance on power customers for its funding was in the crosshairs of the provincial Liberals during the recent election.
The party said it would hand the cost of the agency over to Nova Scotia Power.
On Friday, Liberal Energy Minister Andrew Younger said he is opposed to the increase sought by Efficiency Nova Scotia.
"There's a certain point where Nova Scotians just can't take continual rate increases. And so there is a certain point where the government has to say no, enough is enough," he said.
He said families are already paying too much for power and enough is enough.
The Utility and Review Board will have the final say on the requested increase.