2022-01-29 • Halifax, NS
Dear Solar Nova Scotia member or friend:
Solar Nova Scotia is extremely concerned with the recent proposal by Nova Scotia Power to charge net-metering participants a "System Access Charge" based on installed capacity. We believe this will devastate a fast-growing industry that is a bright light in the Nova Scotia economy and that is making a key contribution to Nova Scotia's climate change mitigation goals. A monthly fee based on capacity is the wrong approach and cannot be allowed to happen.
We are encouraged by initial comments from Nova Scotia Natural Resources and Renewable Energy Minister, Tory Rushton, that he does not support Nova Scotia Power's proposal. We believe the province should immediately commit to rejecting it. This will reduce the uncertainty that is causing demand for solar to grind to a halt. Dozens of companies and hundreds of jobs depend on it.
In the coming days we will do everything we can to support our members.
We plan to intervene with the UARB and have set up a GoFundMe to raise funds for lawyer fees and PR to support our members in this process. Nova Scotia Power has all the legal support they need and we have to make sure the solar industry, which is mostly small businesses, has fair representation. Please consider contributing and sharing with friends and family. You can find the link here: Solar NS Legal Fund.
Below you will find a letter template in text and .docx, along with how to get MLA contract addresses.
We will be in touch as we continue to develop a strategy to oppose this proposal.
Chair, Solar NS
Below is the text version of the letter. You may download the .docx version with this link.
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MLA – CONSTITUENCY NAME
Dear MLA _______________,
I am a <COMMUNITY NAME> resident writing to express my profound concern with Nova Scotia Power’s new General Rate Application, filed with the Utility & Review Board on January 27, 2022. As you may be aware, this rate application would introduce a “system access charge” of $8 per kilowatt per month on solar net metering systems.
This new charge would cost the average Nova Scotia family with rooftop solar panels close to $800 per year, on top of a proposed 3.3 per cent increase in the residential electricity rate for each of the next three years.
Based on this rate application, Nova Scotia Power would earn $558 million in profit for the shareholders of their parent company, Emera Inc., over the next three years.
There are over 4,100 residential customers like me across Nova Scotia who have installed solar panels. We firmly oppose this proposed “systema access charge”, and we are calling on the Government to speak out against Nova Scotia Power’s regressive, arbitrary and unfair penalty on solar net metering customers.
The solar industry supports hundreds of jobs throughout the province, primarily in rural communities, and last year contributed approximately $30 million in private-sector investment to the Nova Scotia economy while helping to reduce the province’s GHG emissions by nearly 250,000 tonnes. This proposed change would destroy the industry and put the province’s target of 80% renewable electricity by 2030 even further out of reach.
As a resident of <COMMUNITY NAME>, I ask that you voice your support for our community’s solar industry, and speak out against Nova Scotia Power’s new rate application and the proposed penalty on solar homes.
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