The provincial government has announced their proposed legislation to protect solar in Nova Scotia. This legislation is a promised response to Nova Scotia Power’s proposal that was put forth earlier this year.
On January 28, 2022, Nova Scotia Power revealed their intention of charging Net-metering customers an additional $8/kilowatt per month as a “system access charge.” NSP subsequently retracted their proposal after Premier Tim Houston announced the government’s plan of putting forward legislation to protect net-metering customers against extra fees that would discourage homeowners from going solar.
The new legislation brought on by the progressive conservative party of Nova Scotia assures current and future solar homeowners that the green energy movement is here to stay.
New amendments were introduced to the Electricity Act and the Public Utilities Act, including protecting ratepayers’ rights to net metering without fear of special charges or rate changes, effectively putting an end to any similar future threats.
Other amendments include:
- guaranteed rights to bring the energy portion of their electricity bill to $0 annually if they can generate enough power from renewable sources like solar panels
- A simplified Green Choice Program that allows more opportunities for large-scale consumers to get involved in renewable energy
- A simplified Community Solar Program (formerly the Shared Solar Program) and limiting Nova Scotia Power’s role in it.
- Nova Scotia Power will need to implement the Green Button standard within 12 months which allows customers to safely download household or business electricity usage data and connect this data to online apps to reduce their bills.
- increasing performance standards for situations such as outage response times
- A new partnership and performance table will be formed to enable stakeholders and advocates to be included in the oversight of Nova Scotia Power
The new amendments will make sure Nova Scotians can freely generate their own clean energy and have control over the power they produce.
Despite the daunting threat against the industry earlier this year, it has been incredible to see the government, solar industry and Nova Scotians stand together in solidarity to fight against NSP’s initial proposal. By giving power back to the people, the provincial government has made a strong statement about where they stand and the future of solar in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia’s goal is to use 80% renewable energy by 2030. There is still a long way to go, and we believe solar is a huge part of that journey. We appreciate the government’s support for the green energy movement and have trust that they will continue to protect Nova Scotians’ rights to have affordable and accessible solar options moving forward.
A special thank you to the group “Solar Nova Scotia” for the work they did in helping the industry and the province get a big win over NSP.