New Brunswick

NB Power posts $55M in earnings in 2013-14

NB Power recorded earnings of $55 million last year in addition to putting $44 million against its net debt.

Crown utility also puts payment of $44M on debt of $5B

NB Power recorded earnings of $55 million last year in addition to putting $44 million against its net debt.

Performance issues at the Point Lepreau Generating Station in the first quarter impacted earnings, along with the need to increase the amount of power purchased due to the cold winter and high natural gas costs because of supply issues in the northeast United States, stated NB Power in releasing its results.

Also, ice storms in late December cost the utility $12 million.

NB Power's financial statements for 2013-14 show earnings of $55 million along with a $44-million debt repayment. (CBC)
The utility's revenues got a boost through consistent performance at Point Lepreau during the last three quarters of the year, when the nuclear plant operated at or near 100 per cent capacity for 19 consecutive weeks during the winter heating season from November to April.

NB Power was also able to increase its export sales of energy.

The information was released Friday as part of the Crown utility's audited financial statements for 2013-14.

"This was another positive year as we pursued financial results that allow us to keep rates low and stable forour customers and to pay down debt while continuing to invest in a smart grid vision that will transform how our customers use electricity," said Ed Barrett, the chair of NB Power's board of directors. 

"It was also a year of tremendous challenges but these positive results indicate our financial plan is sound and able to weather unexpected challenges that come our way."

Revenues for the year were $1.79 billion compared to $1.60 billion the previous year.

Sales in the province were $1.33 billion, which is five per cent higher than the previous year due to increased demand during a colder winter combined with a two per cent rate increase that took effect in October 2013. Export sales hit a six-year high of $391 million.

Total expenses were $1.74 billion, up from $1.54 billion the previous year.

NB Power's debt stood at $5.02 billion after the $44 million payment on the debt. That payment is in keeping with the utility's target of reducing its deby by $1 billion by 2021.

"We remain committed to the reliable service customers expect as we pursue our plans for reducing energy consumption and shifting peak energy demands", said Gaëtan Thomas, the utility's president and chief executive officer of NB Power.

"Finding ways to reduce and shift energy demand will ensure rate stability over time, a more reliable and greener grid for New Brunswickers and offer our customers more choice, convenience and control over their energy usage in the future.