Month: August 2011
Consumers should not pay more for power company profits and bonuses: Baillie
Week one survey results clearly show consumers reject paying for bonuses
HALIFAX, NS – When Nova Scotians are asked by the NDP to “bite the bullet” and pay more for power, they are actually being asked to pay for a lot more than just electricity, says Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie.
Nova Scotia Power is seeking to add millions to its bottom line by increasing its target Return on Equity to 9.6 per cent. On top of the extra profit, Nova Scotia Power intends to spend $5.5 million on bonus pay next year, half of which is charged to its customers.
Baillie says that 94 per cent of the over 500 respondents to the PC Party’s letstalkrates.ca website survey reject the idea that consumers should pay for bonuses. Currently, consumers are expected to pay for $2.75 million of the company’s $5.5 million in bonuses.
“When people pay their electricity bill they want to know the money is paying for electricity,” said Baillie. “The bonuses should be the responsibility of the shareholders alone and seeking higher profits right now is not justifiable.”
Baillie says the PC energy critic, MLA Chuck Porter, will argue to the UARB that no amount of bonuses should be charged to customers and the company’s request for increased profits should be denied.
“Too many Nova Scotian businesses and households are facing higher costs while their own incomes are not rising,” said Baillie. “If shareholders want to pay big bonuses, let them; but do not include such large amounts when setting the price of power for Nova Scotians.”
Baillie said the NDP need to do more than ask Nova Scotia Power to “sharpen their pencils,”, as the Energy Minister suggested.
“The NDP have asked Nova Scotians to pay higher HST and now they want Nova Scotians to ‘bite the bullet’ and pay higher power rates too,” added Baillie.
The NDP’s own Renewable Electricity Plan says that Nova Scotians must “bite the bullet and make the necessary investments” to be compliant with the NDP’s new regulations. At the same time, Nova Scotia Power estimates that electricity rates will go up by 20 per cent over the next three years.
Baillie and the Progressive Conservatives launched a website last week to ask Nova Scotians for their views on Nova Scotia Power’s rate application and the NDP government’s costly energy policies. The website will be gathering feedback in advance of the UARB hearing in mid-September.
The PC leader thanked respondents who have shared their views to date and encourages all Nova Scotians to make their views heard through the website at http://www.letstalkrates.ca
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