Some Nova Scotia Power customers in a Halifax peninsula neighbourhood are calling on the power utility to better respond to preventive maintenance calls.
“As soon as the wind blows we get flickering and lose our power,” said Joachim Stroink, a former provincial MLA, who lives in the area around Cherry Street.
“If you look at the lines around Halifax and Nova Scotia, there’s line after line after line on top of lines and there’s not a lot of time being taken to take the old lines down.”
Stroink says he’s not alone in his concerns over power poles that appear to be overloaded with a mess of old wires.
He doesn’t profess to be an electricity expert but says he’s asked the utility to investigate whether the “mess of wires” has anything to do with outages.
“I think the weight and everything like that adds to the chaos of a wind storm and then you have branches on top of that,” he said.
In response to concerns over the outages, a communications advisor with Nova Scotia Power said the utility invests millions of dollars annually into improving service reliability for customers. A major part of that work involves tree trimming and other types of vegetation management.
“We invest approximately $100 million each year on system upgrades, maintenance and improvements to increase service reliability for customers,” Jacqueline Foster wrote in an email statement.
Foster adds that a recent power outage in the Cherry Street area was caused by a broken branch that caused damage to equipment.
She says there is “a dedicated team ready to listen and respond” when customers call with concerns.
Stroink says neighbours in the area have discussed their frustrations over the outages and haven’t always been successful in getting a satisfactory response from the utility.
“There needs to be work on cleaning old lines and it’s not just Nova Scotia Power, it’s also Bell Aliant, it’s also all the old phone lines that are on there,” he said.
Residents from other areas of the municipality have been successful in advocating for the power utility to respond to outage concerns.
Earlier this year, Clayton Park residents united their voices in calling for the utility company to eventually trim trees and replace necessary equipment to improve service reliability.
Foster states that a “planned reliability improvement project” is underway for the Cherry Street area and that work will continue into the new year.