News release

Efficiency Tax to Come Off, Power bills To Go Down

Nova Scotians will get a break on their power bills with new energy efficiency legislation being introduced today, April 7.

"The efficiency tax is coming off and electricity bills will go down next year," said Energy Minister Andrew Younger. "We've improved how energy efficiency programs are delivered and introduced competition for Nova Scotia Power. Our approach ensures that Efficiency Nova Scotia remains independent of Nova Scotia Power, with oversight by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board."

Mr. Younger introduced a provincial energy efficiency plan and new legislation supporting government's commitment to remove the efficiency tax from electricity bills effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The province's energy efficiency plan sets objectives that will save energy, lower costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It proposes a new model for energy efficiency program delivery to ensure investments are more competitive, affordable and accountable.

Amendments to the Public Utilities Act include the addition of an energy efficiency and conservation section that:

  • removes the efficiency tax effective Jan. 1, 2015
  • requires Nova Scotia Power to purchase cost effective, reasonably available energy efficiency
  • provides the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board with regulatory oversight of efficiency programs and to determine affordability

The demand side management fund established by the Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation Act will be wound down over the next year and the existing assets, liabilities and employees will be transferred to a new non-profit entity. The new entity will administer activities and programs under the Efficiency Nova Scotia brand.

"We're fortunate to live and work in a province committed to energy efficiency," said Allan Crandlemire, CEO of Efficiency Nova Scotia. "The team at Efficiency Nova Scotia is eager and ready to embrace its evolution to help build a prosperous, sustainable province."

Nova Scotia Power and its parent company Emera will contribute up to $37 million over the next 10 years to upgrade all low-income electrically heated homes in the province. This community investment will be funded by Emera and will be made at no cost to Nova Scotia Power customers. Government will continue to invest in non-electric efficiency initiatives with a focus on low-income programs. There are an estimated 20,050 low-income homes in Nova Scotia eligible for energy efficiency upgrades, including 15,435 non-electrically heated and 6,615 electrically heated homes.

"We're very pleased to see government's long-term commitment to energy efficiency programs that ensures they remain independent and competitive with a focus on low-income programs," said Chris Morrisey, Executive Director, Clean Nova Scotia. "Programs like free home energy upgrades for low-income homeowners save people between $565 to $900 a year. These are permanent savings Nova Scotia families will benefit from for many years to come."

For more information, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/energy/ .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotians will get a break on their power bills with new energy efficiency legislation being introduced today (April 7th).

The legislation removes the efficiency fee from electricity bills, bringing bills down next year.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger says the legislation improves how energy efficiency programs are delivered and introduces competition for Nova Scotia Power.

The province's energy efficiency plan was also introduced and sets objectives that will save energy, lower costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It proposes a new model for energy efficiency program delivery to ensure investments are more competitive, affordable, and accountable.

For more information, visit the department's website.

-30-

Media Contact:

Darcy MacRae
Cell: 902-483-4625 E-mail: