A Halifax-based energy consultant says he has concerns that a provincial government funded study on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project isn't comprehensive enough.

Todd McDonald of Energy Atlantica, a company involved in the natural gas industry, says the study by consultant John Dalton of Power Advisory, leaves out options such as the stand-alone use of natural gas entirely.

McDonald says the  $1.5-billion cost of the subsea cable to Newfoundland also doesn't factor in interest costs or the potential for cost overruns.

He says with a shrinking population, Nova Scotians could be in a position in the future of paying for power that's not needed.

Dalton's study says buying electricity from the proposed hydroelectric project would be $402 million cheaper than importing it from Quebec.

It also says it would be $1.5 billion less than using a mix of wind and natural gas over the 35-year life of the commercial contract for the hydro development.

Dexter says report supports Muskrat Falls option

Premier Darrell Dexter says the study uses reliable sources of data to demonstrate that Muskrat Falls is the best long-term energy option.

The premier spoke at a business breakfast in Halifax on Friday to a group known as the Maritimes Energy Association.

Speaking to reporters after the breakfast, Dexter admitted even this plan will force Nova Scotians to pay more for electricity.

"Every plan will mean increases," Dexter says.

"Prices go up because the price of fossil fuels go up. The question is how do you ensure that you get the lowest and fairest prices and that is the plan that we are presenting. The prices that you pay for anything are more now than they were 10 years ago."

Dexter says, under his plan, rates will go up by less than what's proposed by liberals or conservatives.

The opposition parties dispute that claim.

With files from The Canadian Press