It pays to look at long term

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In a mass power outage it’s inevitable some customers will get service back quicker than others; some might be forced to wait for days, as has been the case following Arthur. Many will be mystified as to the why and when about areas getting fixed up.

One thing everyone will agree on is appreciation for the dedication of the crews, sticking with the massive job day and night until it is done. Our hats off to workers who put in the long hours in the thick of extreme weather for a challenging, often precarious task.

At the same time many people are expressing frustration with Nova Scotia Power and questioning whether the utility is thinking long-term when it comes to year-round line maintenance, the removal of hazards and having the work force in place to deal with emergencies such as in these.

We can expect again to hear criticism from those already upset about the aim by the utility to contract out certain jobs, considering some positions include line work and tree trimming.

The utility might argue that such work can be done as efficiently by contracted firms.

Granted, many of us are not in a position to coach a private enterprise about how to do business. At the same time, in the aftermath of extreme weather like we saw on the weekend, we’re seeing the entire job of reconnecting customers take upwards of a week – despite the valiant, round-the-clock work of repair crews.

So let’s just say a bit of honest criticism from the public is due.

Forecasts from weather experts tell us to expect increasing numbers of extreme weather events. We’ve had a few in the last year, they come in all seasons.

If the power utility is aiming to economize to keep profits up for shareholders, they might want to reconsider. Companies should know that getting chintzy – cutting staff, reducing regular maintenance such as tree trimming – does not pay off in the long run. Consider the catch-up, the massive costs to bring in crews from elsewhere. It’s false economy.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power

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