11/14/2013 03:37 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Nova Scotia energy minister opposes rate increase filed by efficiency agency

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government says it will oppose an application for an energy efficiency rate increase.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger says his department has written to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to express opposition to a .135 cents per kilowatt hour increase requested by Efficiency Nova Scotia.

The province says the estimated costs to residential consumers would be about $11 a year.

Younger says ratepayers shouldn't have to bear the additional cost and the government remains committed to removing the fee from power bills that pays for efficiency programs.

The Liberal government has said Nova Scotia Power should shoulder the cost of efficiency program, estimated at around $46 million a year.

Efficiency Nova Scotia spokeswoman Leanne Hachey says the increase request is intended to recoup the cost of a harmonized sales tax rebate for outside contractors used by the agency that was removed by the Canada Revenue Agency in late 2012.

Hachey says the agency has filed an appeal on that decision with the federal tax agency.