Nova Scotia Power's announcement yesterday is a clear indication that the transnational corporation is putting profit before the needs of Nova Scotians.
“Nova Scotia Power is acting like it just found out it has to get off coal, and now they want Nova Scotia residents to foot the bill,” says Tynette Deveaux with Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s Beyond Coal Atlantic campaign. “They’re treating clean renewable energy as a luxury that the company can’t afford—and we know that’s not true.”
The federal government announced in 2018 that Canadian utilities had to shut down coal-fired plants by 2030. Nova Scotia Power has yet to shut down any of its eight coal-fired power units and it just announced that it won’t close Trenton 5 until 2024.
“The 2030 deadline is not supposed to be a last-minute dash to shut down coal power in the province,” says National Program Director Gretchen Fitzgerald. “Nova Scotia Power is the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the province and it needs to start immediately reducing its emissions.”
Nova Scotia Power’s announcement that it wants to charge a premium on homeowners with solar panel installations is a huge step backward for renewable energy in the province.
“The company is gaslighting homeowners who want to be part of the climate solution,” says Fitzgerald. “It’s giving the public the false impression that homeowners with solar panels are cashing in on low electricity at the expense of other customers. That’s simply not true. It takes most solar customers at least ten years just to pay off the loans for their solar panel installation.”
NSPs proposed 10 percent rate hike over three years, while maintaining its 9 percent guaranteed profit rate underscores the problem of a private energy monopoly.
“Nova Scotians are waking up to the reality that there is no way forward with Nova Scotia Power. If we want affordable, reliable, and clean renewable energy in this province, it can’t be controlled by a private multinational and a rubber stamp review board,” says Deveaux. “We need to recognize that electricity is an essential service. We shouldn’t have to tell Nova Scotia Power that reducing greenhouse gas emissions isn’t a luxury; it’s essential too.”
“This announcement makes it very clear we need to work together to break Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly and make it possible for municipalities and individual homeowners and businesses to participate in a rapid transition to clean renewable energy—without being penalized,” says Fitzgerald.
Today, we’re announcing our Power to the People campaign, calling on Nova Scotians to demand energy democracy.
- 30 -
Beyond Coal Atlantic Campaign Coordinator
Sierra Club Canada
National Programs Director
Sierra Club Canada