Nova Scotia Power applies for consultation into time-of-day-pricing

SMART METER

Nova Scotia Power is seeking approval from the provincial regulator to launch a consultation process for widespread time-of-day pricing tariffs.

Paperwork was filed Monday to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) for the voluntary program.

The company is in the midst of a $133-million smart meter program that automates meter readings, which customers can opt out of.

The utility states that the implementation of smart meter technology, in combination with time-varying pricing (TVP), "will allow customers to track and manage their power consumption across the day and throughout the year to better align their electricity usage with their financial and lifestyle objectives."

Nova Scotia Power says while there will be long-term savings from reduced generation capacity and fuel cost for the company, TVP programs are likely to create near-term revenue shortfalls as customers shift load from peak to off-peak periods.

The proposed consultation period and the filing of an application for approval of TVP tariffs would be no later than the end of November so the UARB could make a decision before the company's target rollout in mid-2021.

The utility says the tariffs "represent a fundamental change for the company and our customers".

It states that "care is required in ensuring the tool is well understood by both participating and non-participating customers and creates a foundation on which the Company and its customers can rely for years to come."

The UARB is accepting comments until July 24th, either by written submission or by getting on the list to comment in person.