Nova Scotia Power is blaming a warm winter and higher coal prices for a $15 million, or 36 per cent, drop in its earnings for the first quarter of this year.

The power utility's parent company, Emera Inc., also reported its first quarter results are down $10 million.

Nova Scotia Power wants to increase power rates by nine per cent for homeowners and 16 to 30 per cent for businesses and hospitals.

Emera says another rate increase may be necessary next year, when it begins paying federal tax for the first time since the it became a publicly traded company.

Emera held its Annual General meeting in Halifax on Tuesday.