a smiling man
Emera president Scott Balfour. Photo: Emera

Emera Inc. president and CEO Scott Balfour took home a whopping $8.28 million dollars in total compensation in 2021, including salary and stock options. 

Enough to make you gag in your green beer, the figures for Emera’s top five executives were reported on St.Patrick’s Day in the company’s Management Circular.

Here a short summary of Pay Day for Emera’s Top People: 

Scott Balfour, president and CEO, $8.28 million. (6% raise from 2020)

Greg Blunden, Chief Financial Officer, $2.5 million

Bruce Marchand, Chief Legal Counsel, $2.02 million

Karen Hutt, Executive Vice-President, business development and climate strategy, $ 1.64 million

(Hutt made less than $200,000 a year during her three years as president of Nova Scotia Power. Nova Scotia Power executive compensation paid by ratepayers — not to be confused with shareholders — is linked to the top salary paid to a Nova Scotia government deputy minister)

Rick Janega, CEO, Electric Utilities in Canada and Caribbean, $1.63 million

(Janega was responsible for completing the Maritime Link on time and on budget. The Link delivers Muskrat Falls hydro by cable from Newfoundland to Cape Breton.)

The people who served on Emera Inc’s board of directors earned between $250,000 and $300,00 in compensation last year. Chair Jackie Sheppard took home more than $400,00. The company’s annual general meeting will take place in Halifax May 26 and shareholders get to “have a say on pay” if they file all the necessary paperwork. 

Although the multinational company that owns Nova Scotia Power and electric and natural gas utilities in Florida, New Mexico, and the Caribbean did not meet its EPS or “Earnings Per Share” objective, every Emera shareholder still saw a 4% increase on last year’s dividend and a TSR (Total Shareholder Return) of 22% on their investment. Not bad, huh? Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Power has a applied for a 10% rate hike over the next three years that will affect all electricity consumers in this province.

 Fast facts from the Emera management circular:

Emera has more than $34 billion in assets.

• Emera states it plans an 80% reduction in coal usage by the end of next year, 2023, and the retirement of Nova Scotia Power’s last coal unit “no later than 2040.”

• Emera says in 2021, the company achieved a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to 2005 levels. This figure includes other companies as well as Nova Scotia Power. “With $5.3 billion committed to clean energy projects, Emera expects to reach its goal of 55% carbon reduction by 2025,” states the filing to SEDAR.

Jennifer Henderson is a freelance journalist and retired CBC News reporter.

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  1. Will someone please explain why private companies, like Emera, are more efficient at providing electricity than governments? As a retired person on a fixed income and someone who needs electricity to heat and cook, I just fail to see the benefits that Nova Scotia and its residents gained when the power company was privatized.

  2. (If you can believe google)

    Emera has ~ 7,000 employees
    CEO Scott Balfour’s compensation is $8.28 million

    by comparison

    Hydro-Quebec has ~20,000 employees
    CEO Sophie Brochu’s compensation in 2021 was $1.095 million:

    $ 580,000 – annual salary, CEO of Hydro-Quebec

    $ 290,000 – a possible bonus like Executive Director

    225,000 dollars – Salary as director at BMO

    Total possible: $ 1,095,000
    (source: https://www.vaughantoday.ca/paid-exemption-for-ceo-of-hydro/)

  3. Based on a 256 work days a year he makes more than the average households income EVERY 2.5 days.

    Even if you give him the grace that he’s on duty 365 days a year he still makes more than the average household income every 4 days.
    Absolutely ridiculous.

    1. He makes less than most professional sportsmen despite the fact he leads a business that provides essential services to millions of people.

      1. This is just factually incorrect and downright laughable. “Most” professional sportsmen?? C’mon. Minor leaguers, the vast majority of any NHL hockey team is made up of players making way less. And this clown makes 8 million providing an essential service in a really crappy way and that should be delivered by government directly because it is so essential.

        1. In the NHL and all other N American sports you can play badly and it has no effect on your salary.
          An HRM councillor makes more than an RN and has a more expensive benefits package which includes a pension that is more generous than any other public sector plan in Canada.

          1. Not that ANY of this is relevant to the article… but…

            The average CAREER earnings based on average career length and average pay. NBA is tops at around ~24 million descending down to baseball at ~18 million, NHL ~13million, NFL ~6.7 million, MLS soccer ~0.5million

            This CEO makes that average NBA CAREER earnings in 3 years! He’s been doing the job since 2018 so the easy math says he’s already earned way more than most professional athletes do in their lifetime.

            For something relevant to the conversation see Peggy’s comment below for comparison to Hydro Quebec.

            Ontario’s OPG CEO makes a few million and Ontario Hydro One CEO makes ~1.2 million. OPG has more employees than Emera and Hydro one is proportional to Emera.
            Scott Balfour’s salary is out of proportion for his industry.

      2. He runs a regulated monopoly with a guaranteed rate of return, which is guaranteed via rate hikes.

        Executive pay has exploded over a few decades.