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Frustration with Nova Scotia Power surges after rate increases, weekend outages


Cape Breton Regional Municipal councillor Cyril MacDonald's weekend was one filled with angry phone calls from residents without power.

It's a problem he says is happening too frequently and his frustration is with Nova Scotia Power.

“It's time for Nova Scotia Power to start investing in their infrastructure,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald feels with a 14 per cent increase now granted to NSP and millions of dollars in profits annually, residents shouldn't be paying out hundreds of dollars to operate a generator to keep the lights on.

“They're accountable to nobody and I think our provincial government needs to take a stance on this,” said MacDonald.

Joella Foulds lives in Boularderie Island. She says her power kept going on and off every few minutes on Saturday.

“I just feel that they're not treating the whole problem of outages as seriously as they should be,” said Foulds.

Foulds says it was difficult to try and get answers from NSP as to what was going on.

“We're not getting reliable service. Everybody out here now has to have a generator because you can't count on Nova Scotia Power if the wind goes up at all,” she said.

To make matters worse, Foulds says the frequent outages fried her refrigerator.

“We're waiting for the advice of a repair-person to see whether it's ever going to be useable or whether it has to be replaced,” she added.

Lia MacDonald, VP of Customer Experience for the utility, said a device used on the lines designed to protect equipment where there is high electricity use wasn’t functioning properly.

According to Nova Scotia Power, 2022 was a high storm year and the reason behind most of the outages. MacDonald says the company is always looking to improve their productive reliability plan.

“We invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Tens of millions on tree-clearing in and of itself, and we're always looking at how that can be done better,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cyril MacDonald said power outages are costing the municipality more because of the need to open comfort centres, and in the end, that cost will be handed down to the taxpayers if the problem persists. Top Stories

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