In­cen­tives to con­serve shouldn't be needed

Cape Breton Post - - COMMENT - Garry Miles Ed­wardsville

Is it just me or did the an­nounce­ment of the change from Con­serve Nova Sco­tia to Ef­fi­ciency Nova Sco­tia irk you as well?

Dur­ing the an­nounce­ment it was stated that power rates would in­crease to cover the cost of this change as well as the cost of pro­grams that will be run. Why should we pay higher power rates to cover the cost of pro­grams to get peo­ple to con­serve power?

If peo­ple can’t fig­ure out that sav­ing power saves them money di­rectly, why should we pay for th­ese fools?

It was said at the press con­fer­ence that re­duc­ing power con­sump­tion would en­able Nova Sco­tia to avoid build­ing a $1 bil­lion coal-fired gen­er­at­ing plant in the fu­ture to cover fu­ture de­mand. Just how many com­pact flu­o­res­cent bulbs would it take to save that much elec­tric­ity?

Since Nova Sco­tia Power is a pri­vate com­pany, why wouldn’t it pay for and build a new plant to sup­ply power to its cus­tomers since it would reap the in­creased rev­enue?

Why should tax­pay­ers have to fund the new plant? What are the chances of get­ting en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval for a new coal-fired plant in th­ese times?

Why are peo­ple tout­ing elec­tric cars as the fu­ture for sav­ing the en­vi­ron­ment if we don’t have the power avail­able or we have to build new power plants to han­dle the load, es­pe­cially if they are coal-or oil-fired, not to men­tion what a nu­clear plant costs to build and main­tain?

Con­serve power, ab­so­lutely, but to have a gov­ern­ment arm or what­ever tell me that I will have to pay more to tell peo­ple to con­serve elec­tric­ity is lu­di­crous. This seems like just an­other case of friends of the gov­ern­ment keep­ing their high-paid cronies in use­less jobs.

And I don’t blame the NDP for this; it was com­ing be­fore this gov­ern­ment came to power. But the New Democrats should se­ri­ously look at the use­ful­ness of this change. We need less costly gov­ern­ment, not more. Ed­i­tor’s note: Ad­vo­cates for the en­ergy con­ser­va­tion drive con­cede that power rates could rise as a re­sult but ar­gue that in the long run they’ll be lower than they’d be without th­ese mea­sures. It’s gen­er­ally as­sumed that any new power plant would be fi­nanced through elec­tric­ity rates, not taxes.

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