Government Intervening to Halt Net-Metering Charges
The Province will protect solar homeowners and small businesses in the solar industry with regulations that will stop the proposed net-metering charge in Nova Scotia Power’s most recent rate application.
Premier Tim Houston sent a letter notifying the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) of the government’s plans today, February 2.
“We agree that it is time for changes to the enhanced net-metering program but the changes we seek will support the greening of the grid, not discourage it,” said Premier Houston. “Our government will bring forward the necessary legislative and regulatory framework that will protect ratepayers and the solar industry in Nova Scotia and help achieve our environment and climate change reduction goals.”
Nova Scotia Power has proposed that, beginning February 1, 2023, new net-metering customers will pay a system access charge of $8 per kilowatt per month. While the charge is not yet in place, the Province will ensure that the charge will not take effect, preventing a direct and immediate negative impact on small businesses and homeowners across the province.
The Province’s framework will preserve the enhanced net-metering program as it was on January 26. The framework will be brought into force before the conclusion of the general rate application proceeding at the NSUARB.
“We have come too far in our fight against climate change and expanding access to renewable energy to risk that progress,” said Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton. “The changes we will bring forward will stop the proposed system access charge in its tracks today and provide certainty for our solar industry and rate-paying families investing in solar.”
The government is also bringing in further measures to grow the solar industry in Nova Scotia, with enhancements to the commercial and community solar programs. These enhancements will make solar power more accessible to everyone, including renters, small businesses and marginalized communities. These changes will also allow for larger solar projects for communities, farms and businesses.
Climate change is one of the biggest global issues today, and Nova Scotia has set one of the most ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving that target requires a range of solutions to expand access to renewable energy, including solar energy.
As the Minister responsible for the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, I want to assure Nova Scotians that our resolve in achieving our greenhouse gas emission targets – which includes the use of solar power to reduce emissions – is unwavering. We want Nova Scotians to continue to adopt solar. That is why we invest in programs to encourage Nova Scotians to switch to solar, including $8 million we recently announced for solar retrofits.
Timothy Halman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- the Province has committed to 80 per cent of Nova Scotia’s electricity needs being supplied by renewable energy by 2030
- there are now more than 4,000 solar homes across Nova Scotia
- the solar industry contributed approximately $30 million in private-sector investment to the provincial economy last year
- the proposed net-metering charges from Nova Scotia Power are not in line with the new Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act
Premier’s letter to the Chair of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board: https://novascotia.ca/news/docs/2022/02/02/letter/Letter-to-Mr-Peter-Gurnham.pdf
Information on renewable energy in Nova Scotia: https://energy.novascotia.ca/renewables
Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/environmental%20goals%20and%20sustainable%20prosperity.pdf
Electricity Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/electricity.pdf