Political Meddling With Electricity Rates Is Counterproductive

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  • Read your article with interest on NS Government sticking nose in NSP rate discussion. Some valid points, observations and comments shared. Am curious as to whether you hold shares in NSP (Emera) that participates in 9% guaranteed dividend? It strikes me that everyday rate payers are held hostage to all the issues you have outlined that require payment (such as fuel) cost etc. In that etc. I include the need to support this guarantee rate for shareholders dividend. Being from the insurance industry and a student of actuarial science you understand risk management! The community of NS is a hostage to the fact our public utility went to a private sector business with oversight by a URB, that lets face it is politically interfered with by private sector influencers that have different priorities to that of the needs of Nova Scotians it is supposed to serve. Investors know making investment choices involves risks (profits and loss) but to be guaranteed this type of return in the environment this province is in and has been in is akin to robbery. When costs are incurred by a business operation then that should affect its bottom line including the dividend to shareholders. But because the service NSP provides is that of utility and is a need by all in this Province – Emera has a money printing machine on our backs. URB have only been effective in fare weather sailing. But when seas are rough the public are the ones to get drowned by rate hikes. So if Houston and team get their oar stuck in maybe it’s not the best thing but it might be the only thing to call attention to this on going gouging.

    Thom Williams | December 30, 2022 | Reply

    • Thanks Thom.

      No I do not own shares in Emera. If you perused the archive of stories (https://newstartns.ca/2022/12/09/political-meddling-with-electricity-rates-is-counterproductive/) you will see that I am not sympathetic to NSP.

      That said I believe that a private utility supervised by the UARB is the best way to supply electricity.

      The 9% return is not guaranteed. The upside is limited, the downside is not. NSP can be penalized for overspending or, in the case of Muskrat, for having championed a project that has so far been bad for Nova Scotians.

      Bill

      Bill | December 30, 2022 | Reply

  • As usual I appreciated your article about electricity rates, especially the breakdown of the 6 components of electricity cost. Thanks for educating us.
    I thought you’d be interested to see this that I came across today while cleaning out some old files. It was from a meeting in 2014 when the provincial Liberal government was touring the province asking residents for input into electricity regulations. It would be interesting to see how the breakdown would compare today.

    Craig McCormick | December 13, 2022 | Reply

  • All three of the province’s political parties have been undermining the UARB since the NDP came to power in 2009. That rare continuity of purpose might have yielded huge benefits had it been applied to the health system for the past 13 years.

    Bill Turpin | December 11, 2022 | Reply

  • Thank you again Bill. I wonder if Premier Houston, and his advisors, read these? They should be. Out of the blue a strong streak of populism came from his office. One of the dangers of populism is that it does not think things through to all the ramifications. This is what we have here.

    Michael Casey, CPA, | December 9, 2022 | Reply

    • I Agree

      Bill | December 9, 2022 | Reply