Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Nova Scotia power must modify its performance standards

Nova Scotia Power

Key Takeaways:

  • In 2020, a power utility was fined $250K for failing to meet nearly half of its performance targets.
  • Nova Scotia Power is asking regulators to change nine of the 13 metrics used to assess its performance after failing to meet reliability and customer service standards for the fourth year in a row.

“The revisions the company has proposed are not intended to relax the current performance standards, but rather were brought forward following several years of experience with how the current standards operate,” said spokesperson Jackie Foster in an email. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board fined NSP $250,000 for failing to meet six of 13 standards in 2019, including targets for the frequency and length of power outages.

Nova Scotia Power failed to meet its standards for the third year in a row.

In 2020, NSP failed to meet two performance standards for the second time: the length of circuit interruption and the percentage of customer bills that can be estimated. “The board is concerned that N.S. Power does not appear to recognize that an actual outcome anticipated from establishing the performance standards is to produce continuous improvement in reliability, customer service, and storm response,” the board wrote in June 2021.

The performance standards were implemented in 2016 in response to widespread criticism after a post-tropical storm Arthur knocked out power to 250,000 customers for up to a week in 2014.

The standards are subject to a mandatory review this year. The company was told to meet with lawyers representing residential, small businesses, and large customers, but no standards were consented to. Nova Scotia Power, on the other hand, submitted its revisions.

As part of the application process, the utility and review board asked the company, “Please explain whether those updates and relaxed targets will essentially increase the likelihood of most, if not all, of the standards being satisfied.”

The utility claims that severe weather events are lowering its overall reliability and customer service ratings.

Source: CBC News

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