Author: Thomas Adams
Thomas Adams, executive director of the Toronto-based Energy Probe prepared for this report for AIMS.
Adams and AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley presented the findings in October of 1996 to the New Brunswick Legislature’s Standing Committee on Crown Corporations.
Adams’ report recommends quickly opening up New Brunswick’s power market to competition, dismantling NB Power into its component parts, and privatizing most of those parts.
The report finds the utility’s operating costs out of line. The cost of domestic coal is over twice the cost of imported coal. Based on the ongoing losses, Adams recommends the separation of NB Coal from NB Power, and NB Coal’s privatization. After examining NB Power’s efficiency, he recommends a 10% cut in payroll costs.
Rates for municipal utilities in Saint John and Edmundston are found to be too high. The report reveals that a year earlier, the municipal utility in Saint John missed an opportunity to cut rates and instead signed a 10-year deal to stay with NB Power.
The report finds that industrial rates in New Brunswick are losing their competitive advantage because rates in New Brunswick are going up while industrial rates in the rest of Canada are stable. Industrial rates are actually dropping in the United States.