FREDERICTON, N.B. – The NB Power Group of Companies is now a single, integrated Crown corporation responsible for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity throughout the province.
The single utility was created Oct. 1 to comply with the province's new Electricty Act. The act also required the creation of a new subsidiary, the New Brunswick Energy Marketing Corporation. This entity will operate in the Northeastern energy market to ensure both the sale of surplus energy and the purchase of lower-priced externally-produced electricity to meet provincial demand and contribute to financial and rate stability.
“These corporate changes will help NB Power pursue additional efficiencies and more effectively serve our customers,” said Gaëtan Thomas, president and chief executive officer. “It will also ensure we can continue to improve and deliver on our commitment to keep energy prices low and stable over the next decade.”
Thomas said that the integration of NB Power will allow the company to better meet the future energy needs of the province and the objectives outlined in the New Brunswick Energy Blueprint.
The change will result in the dissolution of the Electric Finance Corporation, an agency that was created in 2004 and operated within the Department of Finance to advance the proceeds from the necessary debt issues required by the former NB Power group of companies. This change results in the transfer of an additional $325 million in net debt to the new company. This debt has always been factored into the 10-year financial forecast and future rate plans of NB Power.
With the dissolution of the Electric Finance Corporation, NB Power will now borrow directly from the provincial government and all debt will now be reported on NB Power's financial statements.
The change also integrates the New Brunswick System Operator with NB Power, transferring the approval and enforcement of reliability standards for the transmission grid to the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB).
The Electricity Act outlines a robust reporting structure to the EUB that will provide NB Power with an opportunity to be more open and transparent with customers. Each year, the company will file a strategic, financial and capital investment plan that will cover the next 10-year period. NB Power will also file an integrated resource plan that outlines projected supply options over a 30-year forecast period. The EUB will use all of this information when reviewing future rate changes and capital projects of more than $50 million.