Ending the Electricity Monopoly

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  • I cannot imagaine a utility company that would be interested in putting the required capital into a market as small as NS. The idea of a ‘competitive process’ for the small utility industry in NS is simply not viable. Stealing from the old Speedy Muffler guys, when it comes to power, ‘First we get big, then we get competitive.’

    Mike H | May 19, 2014 | Reply

  • I’m not sure that we are ending the appropriate monopoly when thinking of electricity. The electricity monopoly came about as government thought it could best arrange this service at a time when great growth was being created.
    Since that time some regions have had little or no growth ( read, investment).
    Monopolizing matters seems to be a certain culture – which the Government should review; for if it doesn’t, the ratepayers will continue to vote with their feet, to bring about the ‘ creative destruction’ that underlies our true economy.

    gordon a.... | December 9, 2013 | Reply

  • With respect I do not agree that splitting NSP’s transmission and generation facilities and opening it up to competition is a good thing. For all its criticism by the public about rate increases and the erroneous comment that their rates are the highest in the country. Nova Scotians I believe have been well served by NSPower.
    Much of the increase in rates in recent years has been brought about by two things; the cost of coal and the NDP governments requirement for green energy and the high cost of this energy. I would further note that Nova Scotia’s generating capacity has not increased with the Muskrat Falls project. It is not a project of NSP it is a project of another company. Interestingly, the recent decision by the URB has only decided what the price of energy supplied by this Maritime Link Co will NSP pay when and if they decide to purchase it. On another point NSP’s financing is done mainly by the issue of bonds in NSP’s name carried out by issuing bonds. This debt is currently $2.3B.
    Finally, I believe that the public should be wary of any government campaign to “break-up-the-monopoly”. Possibly the old adage “better the devil you know than the one you don’t. .

    BillP | December 8, 2013 | Reply

  • I begin this epistle with “tongue in cheek’ but it’s position may change as my thoughts develop.
    I have concluded that Emera has very competent management and has, over the years put together a strong corporate entity. They may have done so by relying on an alliteration of B’s–bluff, bravado, bullying and BS–but they have succeeded and will continue to succeed because no political party has the competence, conviction or chutzpa to match them in managerial ability.
    The government should recognize this reality and fight from within.
    Buy shares in Emera
    Presently shares in EMA sell for about $30.00 and yield about 5%.The Province can borrow for less than that—so it should start buying shares.There would be no cost to the Province –actually a better investment than a windmill plant etc.
    As a major shareholder, and supported by shares held in various Provincial pension plans and the innate ability to control legislation they would be a major force at a shareholders meeting. Note: existing management owns a miniscule percent of outstanding shares.
    The Province could/should retain some group knowlegable in corporate warfare–think Carl Ichan or Blackstone Group to advise on the process.If Ichan can bring AAPL to the table he should handle EMA before breakfast.
    I would submit that the threat to change or add to the Board or the management would bring existing management to the view that maybe EMA “could be split up”
    When you go to a gun fight, don’t go armed with a knife. Hire professional gunslingers.
    EMA management understands pressure tactics–use them against them and hits where it hits their pride and wallet.
    5 million shares at $30 equals $150 million–(about equal to Port Hawksbury giveaway) plus the pension funds and mutual funds and would probably be enough to turn the tide and if it did’nt work it would still be one of the best investments the Province would have made lately–think Scanwood.
    But don’t develop so much hubris that the government actually thinks they can replace professional management.
    I think present management would blink first.

    Bill F | December 6, 2013 | Reply