The province has amended the Gas Distribution Regulations today, March 18, to give the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board the authority to consider applications dealing with natural gas distribution.
Heritage Gas recently filed an application with the board requesting a discount for its small commercial customers. These customers fall under Rate Class 1, and use less than 5,000 gigajoules per year.
Rate flexibility within a rate class was not previously contemplated and, as a result, was not permitted under the regulations. Without this regulation change, the board could not consider this request by Heritage Gas.
“Government’s action today does not determine the outcome of the application, it simply provides the board with the authority to consider it,” said Energy Minister Michel Samson. “The board will make its decision after reviewing the evidence and hearing from stakeholders in an open and transparent process.”
Heritage Gas is the only franchise holder for natural gas distribution in Nova Scotia. The natural gas system is economically regulated in Nova Scotia unlike fuel competitors such as propane and oil.
The board has set aside March 21-23 as hearing dates for an interim rate change on the Heritage Gas application.