In his praise of the proposed demand side management program, Energy Minister Hurlburt failed to mention some of the program’s shortcomings. For example, since the DSM program is a flat tax on electricity, all electricity consumption is penalized (and hence discouraged), including that from renewables, a source of electricity the province claims to be promoting.
The minister says that the DSM program will lower electricity costs, but there is nothing in the program to discourage consumers from using electricity during the evening peak hours—the most costly electricity of all.
Not surprisingly, the program actually favours NSP, as it allows NSP to shift responsibility for reducing demand away from itself to another, yet to be named organization. When electricity consumption rises, it will be the fault of the DSM organization, not NSP.
If Mr. Hurlburt and the other proponents of DSM were really interested in reducing electricity demand, improving energy security, and encouraging renewables, they would require NSP to install interval meters and institute time-of-use billing.
Published, AllNovaScotia.com (23 December 2008) and Chronicle-Herald (24 December 2008)