Nova Scotia Power recently announced a proposal to charge fees to customers who sell renewable power back to the grid. According to a report by The Canadian Press, Nova Scotia Power president and CEO Peter Gregg said that without the fee, homeowners who generate their own electricity using solar panels are currently being subsidized by other customers. Gregg justifies the fee, saying that it will ensure fairness for all customers.
Nova Scotia Power, a subsidiary of Emera Inc., applied to the provincial regulator last week to charge solar customers about $8 per kilowatt of electricity. For a typical 10kW net-metered installation, the fee would amount to $960 per year, essentially doubling the payback period for solar customers who currently take in about $1,800 in annual savings.
“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.”
Nova Scotia’s solar industry is in its early stages, with only about 4,000 installations to date. Opponents of this proposal say it could decimate the industry before it’s even started, and it is not in alignment with the Sustainable Development Act passed in 2019. The Act calls for carbon levels in 2030 that are 53% below what they were in 2005; and net zero by 2050. Since then, the provincial government announced commitments to power all government offices with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and to close coal plants by 2030.
“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,” said Gretchen Fitzgeral, Sierra Club Canada’s National Program Director.
In a media release issued on Friday, “Time to Break Up with Nova Scotia Power“, Sierra Club Canada announced its Power to the People campaign, calling on Nova Scotians to demand energy democracy.
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