Nova Scotia

How Nova Scotia's cap-and-trade program will affect your wallet in 2019

Gasoline, diesel and natural gas prices are expected to rise as a result of the province's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Gasoline, diesel and natural gas prices expected to increase

The price of gasoline and diesel will increase on Jan. 4 due to the province's new cap-and-trade program. (CBC)

The province's new cap-and-trade program will see Nova Scotians paying a bit more at the pump starting this month.

The price of gasoline will increase by .94 cents per litre and diesel will go up by 1.2 cents per litre starting on Jan. 4.

Heritage Gas customers can also expect to pay more starting today, with an increase of about one per cent on their natural gas bills.

The province has said the price of heating oil will also rise by about a penny per litre due to the cap-and-trade system. When asked whether prices would rise in early January, a spokesperson for Imperial Oil said he could not comment on future prices. 

The changes result from the implementation of Nova Scotia's plan to fight climate change. The provincial government has introduced a cap on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions companies are permitted to release. Businesses that pollute more than the limit must purchase credits as an incentive to reduce emissions.

"All of the folks that are participating … will be putting a surcharge in place," said Heritage Gas president John Hawkins. 

"Now, not everyone would necessarily decide to show that on the bill. We've decided to make it explicit on the bill so that customers are aware of what that surcharge is and how it will affect their cost."

Nova Scotia Power rates will increase this year, but not due to the cap-and-trade program. Spokesperson Tiffany Chase said electricity rates for 2019, which include a 1.7 per cent increase, were approved in 2016.

The province has said electricity rates are expected to increase by about one per cent by 2022 under the cap-and-trade plan.

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