Board approves time-of-use power rates

LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA - The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSURB) has given the green light for Lunenburg's Electric Light Utility to implement domestic service time-of-use rates.

The issue first came to light back in March when Sandy Hollow Road resident Bill Latter approached council regarding the possibility of instituting the service, which is available through several other municipally operated electric utilities in the province.

Following a public hearing held in Lunenburg the board approved a request from the town for new rates which would apply to customers employing electrical thermal storage equipment and electric in-floor radiant heating systems.

The idea is for customers employing those systems to draw power in off-peak hours at a reduced rate and store it for use during peak draw periods.

Under the plan approved by the NSURB, those customers would be charged a base monthly fee of $17, and flexible energy rates that would vary depending on the time of day as well as the time of year.

For the months of December, January and February, eligible customers would be charged a rate of 18.26 cents per kilowatt hour (k/h) from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m., 9.13 cents from 1 to 4 p.m., and 5.88 cents from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Rates apply to weekdays. Statutory holidays, Saturdays and Sundays will be billed at a flat rate of 5.88 cents per k/h.

From March to November, rates will be 9.13 cents per k/h from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 5.88 cents per k/h from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m., with the lower rate again being applied on holidays and weekends.

During the course of the hearing, consultant Albert Dominie, who represented the town, said customers who qualify for the new rates could save as much as $368 per year on the electric bills.

The board also approved changes that would bring the fee charged for inspections by the town's electric utility in line with those charged by Nova Scotia Power Incorporated.

The new rate and fee structures came into effect November 1.


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