01/23/2014 02:09 EST | Updated 03/25/2014 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia energy minister disappointed by fee increase for conservation agency

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's energy minister says he's disappointed that people in the province will have to pay more to an energy conservation agency.

Andrew Younger says he hoped to halt the Efficiency Nova Scotia rate increase, which was approved by the Utility and Review Board and amounts to up to an additional $8.7 million this year.

The increase will likely mean a $1 fee will be added to a monthly charge of about $4 on power bills to help fund programs offered by Efficiency Nova Scotia.

The Liberals were elected last year on a promise to bring down power costs and remove the $4 fee.

But months into its mandate, the government has not touched the fee, with Younger saying that won't happen until next January.

Younger says the government is developing a plan for the funding model that supports Efficiency Nova Scotia, but he wouldn't reveal details until legislation is announced this spring.