Other Issues - July-August 2015

UARB Hearing into Nova Scotia Power LED streetlights rates for those who are leasing the lights from NSPI is underway.  NSP is seeking approval to reduce the rates for NSP owned streetlights effective January 1, 2016.  Their proposal states they are close to recovering the stranded asset value of the non-LED lights, sooner than originally anticipated. As well, the capital cost of the LED lights, including installation, are also lower than expected.  This allow NSP to reduce the capital cost component of the rate.  The actual savings to a municipality depends on the mix of lights being used.  

The cost of energy is not impacted, this part of the rate remains the same for those who lease their lights from NSP and those who purchased their own lights.

UNSM General Insurance Program: In November 2014 an Expression of Interest for the UNSM General Insurance Program was submitted to five insurers to assess available insurance providers and their capabilities to support Nova Scotia Municipalities. This represents a due diligence initiative to ensure municipalities receive the best value for municipal funds. Four responded to the detailed request for information with three providing complete responses.  Cowan, Northbridge and Zurich provided the core information requested of them by the January 23, 2015 deadline.  Requests for additional information were responded to appropriately and received by April 2015. The review and comparison was based on seven factors:

  1. Experience and expertise
  2. Value added services
  3. Coverage availability including options and capacity
  4. Gaps and missing features
  5. Ability to offer insurance to all municipalities (factoring varying population trends and complexity)
  6. Claims services;  and
  7. Service standards.

The recommendation of the Brokers Consortium was to continue with Cowan Insurance as the provider for the UNSM General Insurance Program. Questions can be directed to UNSM Executive Director Betty MacDonald at or 902-423-3423.