Not allowing executive bonuses to be paid, even in part, by ratepayers. Shareholders must fully pay any bonuses. Capping executive salaries at a level similar to a deputy minister in the provincial public sector. Shareholders must pay the salary above that level. Requiring NSPI to file multi-year rate applications to cut hearing costs, which can reach $2 million per hearing. Strengthening the UARB’s authority to order an independent review to look for savings in years without a rate hearing. Ensuring no additional rate increases until at least 2015. The province is ensuring Nova Scotians get the lowest, fairest electricity rates possible with legislation introduced today, Oct. 25, that restricts the costs Nova Scotia Power Incorporated (NSPI) can recover from ratepayers. “People are telling me that it’s not fair that executives at Nova Scotia Power have had their bonuses and salaries paid for by ratepayers when there are families struggling to make ends meet, and I agree,” said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. “With these proposed changes and the other steps we are taking to stabilize electricity rates over the long term, we are standing up for Nova Scotians.” The proposed amendments to the Public Utilities Act are from government’s commitment last month to limit factors that affect electricity rates. The changes include: “We are introducing these changes for the same reason we removed the 10 per cent provincial tax from electricity when we took office – to make it easier for families and those on fixed incomes to manage their household budget,” said Mr. Parker. “We are bringing greater fairness, predictability and certainty to electricity rates as we continue to move forward with our longer-term plan to get us off expensive dirty coal, into more renewable sources of energy.” The proposed changes were announced during the general rate application hearing in September. Based on 2012 salary levels, the cap on executive salaries is a savings of more than $500,000 from being charged to ratepayers each year. Draft regulations to support the bill were also released today for public comment. The regulations and details on how to submit comments can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/energy/public-consultation/ .
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