Maritime Link Hearings 20130528

Christopher Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera Inc. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Nova Scotia Power ratepayers may be on the hook for nearly $100 million in unbudgeted fuel costs and the utility’s parent company said it may start to recover that money in 2016.

But executives downplayed the possibility at the company's annual meeting in Liverpool on Wednesday, saying the company hopes to reduce costs to avoid a hike.

“If we added the word begin it might be helpful. So begin to recover it in 2016 is all that that means," said CEO Christopher Huskilson.

“So if there’s room from another deferral coming off to begin to recover it in 2016, then that still may have no effect on rates.”

Emera is reporting a strong start to 2014, with profits up across the board.

Nova Scotia Power has said there will be no rate increases in 2015.

The unexpected fuel spending is attributed to higher natural gas prices.