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Nova Scotia Power Post-Dorian

ID 100003671 © Abby Khoriaty | Dreamstime.com

Just days after Hurricane Dorian overturned trees and downed power lines, residents of Nova Scotia are turning on the power company.  Since privatization in 1992, Nova Scotia Power has had a monopoly on power transmission for the province.

 As of Wednesday morning, 65,000 customers were still without power.  Perhaps it was this frustration that led to the accusations against the company.   Complaints include overcharging, under-investing, and poor outage management. Before the storm, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) offered assistance as part of the mutual assistance agreement in North America.  Novia Scotia Power declined.  Patti Lewis, a media relations advisor with NS Power, replied, “We did not seek crews from the North American Mutual Assistance Group because we were more quickly and effectively securing crews through direct outreach. There were numerous contract crews returning from the United States, where they had staged for Dorian but were not required. We were able to redirect them to Nova Scotia.”  However, residents are still questioning whether privatization was the best idea.   The company and its employees are also being criticized for recent financial decisions.  Two top executives with Nova Scotia Power’s parent company Emera, cashed in their stock options before it would drop to $2.50 post-Dorian. Despite previous investments to upgrade the infrastructure and increase reliability, ratepayers are unsatisfied.  

NS Power released a statement assuring customers, “…our crews have restored service to approximately 85% of the more than 400,000 customers who lost power due to Hurricane Dorian. We’ve made strong progress by working closely with 368 power line crews, 81 forestry crews and 67 damage assessment teams from New Brunswick, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Maine and Florida, but there’s still work to be done.  We know it has been frustrating to be without power for this length of time – we hear you and we’re not stopping until every last customer has their power back.”

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