We work hard to balance the growing customer demands for cleaner energy with our commitments to affordable rates and the environment. Across Emera, we help our customers learn how to use energy efficiently at home and at work. When our customers are in need, we offer programs, rebates and other incentives to encourage smart energy use. When our customers provide feedback on rates, we listen.
Powering Rate Stability
Our customers tell us that affordable and predictable rates are important to them. That’s why at the same time we’re working to make energy cleaner and more reliable, we are also committed to providing rate stability plans that work to keep energy costs stable, predictable and affordable.
Our team at Grand Bahama Power was successful in stabilizing electricity rates. All-in rates for all customers will remain stable and consistent with 2016 rates from 2017 to 2021. This lays the groundwork for the integration of renewables into the energy mix, resulting in a decrease in dependence on fossil fuels.
To provide customers with more predictable, affordable and stable power rates, the Nova Scotia Power team worked with customer representatives to create a 2017–19 Rate Stability Plan. In each of the three years of the plan, average electricity rates will increase by 1.5 per cent. By providing rate stability over three years, customers will be impacted less and will benefit from the renewable energy contracts and the fuel used to generate electricity. This provides customers with the predictability and stability they need while still benefiting from a cleaner electricity grid.
Tampa Electric’s residential rates continue to be among Florida’s lowest and are 19 per cent below the national average. Through forward- looking base rate step-increases over the past few years, customers saw slight increases that were offset by declining fuel costs due to the decreasing price of natural gas. The final step-increase was effective in January 2017 when the Polk Power Station’s efficient combined-cycle natural gas unit became operational, bringing an additional 460 megawatts of generation, improving transmission reliability and reducing emissions.
Growing Energy Efficiency
Efficient energy use is as important to Emera as it is to our customers. Through our outreach efforts and our variety of programs and rebates, we’re helping our customers use energy wisely and achieve savings. All of our energy companies offer customers tips on how to be smart about their energy usage, including tools to calculate the cost to run typical household appliances.
Four decades of efficiency at Tampa Electric
For more than 40 years, Tampa Electric has been providing energy-saving programs to customers across West Central Florida. In that time, we’ve performed more than 458,000 free energy audits and paid more than 482,000 rebates. We offer more energy-saving programs than any other investor-owned electric utility in the state, including the innovative Energy PlannerSM program that lets customers adjust temperature settings and appliance run times through an encrypted online portal.
Our natural gas companies in Florida and New Mexico offer rebates and incentives for customers switching to more efficient natural gas appliances. And Nova Scotia Power offers a variety of programs through Efficiency Nova Scotia to provide customers with energy solutions. We’re also encouraging customers to switch to electric heat pumps in Nova Scotia with rebates and financing, and in Maine through a discounted electric rate for the heating season.
New Mexico Gas: Energy Star Partner
The New Mexico Gas team has a strong record when it comes to energy efficiency work with customers. In 2016, we were named an Energy Star Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – the fifth time the team received the designation in the past seven years. The Energy Star Partner initiative recognizes companies with outstanding energy-efficiency programs, products and services. New Mexico Gas helps customers cut back on their energy use through initiatives like rebates on low-flow shower heads, smart thermostats and space heating.
Helping Customers in Need
We recognize that some customers can be challenged to pay their energy bills each month and we want to help. Through local programs and partnerships, our companies are making a real difference to ensure that energy is shared across our communities.
HomeWarming in Nova Scotia
The HomeWarming program offers no-charge energy assessments and home upgrades to income- qualified homeowners in a partnership between Nova Scotia Power, the Clean Foundation, Efficiency Nova Scotia and the Province of Nova Scotia. The program offers eligible Nova Scotians the opportunity to reduce their energy use and take control of home operating costs through free energy-efficiency upgrades such as draft-proofing and insulation. Emera is providing $37 million towards this program over a 10-year period.
Weatherization in Florida
Tampa Electric’s Neighborhood Weatherization program helps qualified customers manage energy costs by making their homes more energy efficient. We collaborate with local contractors to assess customers’ needs, educate them about smart energy use and outfit their homes with upgrades that help them save energy and reduce their bills.
Partnering with the Salvation Army
Florida’s Share, New Mexico’s Heat New Mexico and Nova Scotia Power’s Good Neighbour Energy Fund programs are charitable funds administered by the Salvation Army. They help families facing an emergency financial situation with assistance to pay their energy bills, including all forms of home heating such as firewood, fuel oil, propane and electricity. Our customers and team members can make donations to the charitable funds, which are partially matched by our companies to make an even bigger impact.
funding for energy efficiency programs across Emera in 2016
Note: total amount is rate-recoverable.
How HomeWarming helped in 2016
electrically heated homes were assessed
of these homes had efficiency upgrades completed
total energy saved1
That's enough to power
for one year
Notes: based on average NS household annual energy usage of 10,833 kilowatt hours (kWh).
1based on 346 evaluated homes.
Weatherization in Florida
Partnering with the Salvation Army