Canso Electric Utility could transfer to NSPI for $1

Application made to NSUARB

By Helen Murphy    

CANSO – The Municipality of the District of Guysborough and Nova Scotia Power have applied to the N.S. Utilities and Review Board to transfer of the assets of the Canso Electric Light Utility from the municipality to NSP. The July 5 application says the sale for the nominal sum of $1 would be effective January 1, 2020.

“NS Power is best positioned to provide a long-term sustainable service to the residents of Canso,” MODG’s CAO, Barry Carroll, told The Journal Monday via email. “They have the financial resources, the team, the expertise, and the economies of scale to ensure that our residents are best served in the long term.”

The application says the Canso utility can no longer be maintained without large investments in infrastructure and equipment, which would have a significant impact on electricity rates for the utility’s customers. The document says rates would increase by an estimated 40 per cent to cover necessary improvements.

“Transferring CEU’s assets and undertaking to NS Power will provide for electricity rates for these customers that are the same as rates being paid in other areas of Nova Scotia by NS Power customers,” the application states. “NS Power is also able to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable electrical services for these customers in a manner that MODG cannot.”

Carroll says MODG is very pleased that NSP has committed to significant upgrades and are guaranteeing the same level of quality service that their customers enjoy in the rest of the province.

A capital investment of approximately $485,000 is required upon the transfer to bring the Canso utility’s electrical assets up to NSP standards.

NSP spokesperson David Rodenhiser told The Journal that when efforts to find another buyer for the Canso utility had failed and MODG approached NSP about the transfer, it fell within the company's "duty to serve" the people of N.S. to help make a transfer work, without bringing any extra burden to its other customers.

The Canso Electric Utility was a department of the former Town of Canso. MODG became owner of the assets of the utility as a consequence of the dissolution of the town on July 1, 2012. Since then it has operated as a department of MODG.