The Utilities and Review Board (UARB) released their decision today, Nov. 29 after hearing from the two paper mills and Nova Scotia Power in October. In their report, the UARB said they did not believe the five year structure would make the mills viable in the long term.
“(It) creates a significant advantage in the early years and escalates rapidly in years 3, 4 and 5 to rates in excess of what the mills now say they can afford to pay.”
They also stated they did not want to put a plan in place that would unduly increase the rate for other customers. The UARB says they would not have customers subsidize the mills to stay open, if it meant a higher cost than if the mills just closed.
Regardless of the ruling, the decision means an increased power rate for all other customers. The general rate was approved to increase 5.6 per cent, with fuel cost adjustments adding 3.2 to 6.8 per cent to the bills.