Nova Scotia Power
is applying for rate hikes of 6.5 per cent for residential customers
and 11.3 per cent for industrial customers to cover higher fuel prices.

 

The
company says most of the increase it is seeking relates to fuel costs
incurred earlier this year and to cover anticipated fuel costs in 2011.

 

The province's Utility and Review Board will begin hearings on the application this fall.

 

If approved the new rates would kick in on Jan. 1

 

The
utility says a recent decision by the province to relax caps on mercury
emissions has allowed it to save about $60 million by buying cheaper
coal.


However, the decision has drawn sharp criticism from
environmental groups who say Nova Scotia already lags behind other
provinces on cutting its output of the toxic chemical.