New Brunswick is on track to deliver on the commitments made in the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan (NBCCAP), according to a provincial government news release. Environment Minister Rick Miles released the third progress report on the action plan on June 29 at a news conference in Fredericton.
“During the third year of implementation of the NBCCAP, the province has made real progress toward implementing the plan's commitments and building on the successes of the previous year,” said Miles. “The progress report shows that New Brunswick is about two megatonnes away from its commitment to realize a reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions of 5.5 megatonnes annually by 2012.”
Highlights in the report include:
· The adoption of a green building policy that requires all new provincial government construction and major renovation projects to achieve a minimum level of energy and environmental performance, and measures outcomes against nationally recognized third-party rating systems such as LEED, Green Globes Design and the Efficiency NB core performance guide
· The amendment of the Clean Environment Act to authorize regional solid waste commissions to be generators of electricity and the amendment of the Municipalities Act enabling municipal electricity generation
· And the expansion of an additional 54 MW of wind energy capacity with TransAlta Corp. at its Kent Hill facility, increasing capacity to 150 MW at the end of 2010
The report also shows that New Brunswick recorded the highest percentage decrease of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada in 2008. Environment Canada's most recent data shows that, from 2007 to 2008, New Brunswick reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 5.8% to 18 megatonnes from 19.1 megatonnes—nationally, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2.1% in 2008 from 2007.
The report can be found at www.gnb.ca/climatechange.
Efficiency NB has added a toolbox of resources on its website to help municipalities and community groups educate residents about the importance and benefits of energy efficiency. The community awareness toolbox includes monthly energy efficiency tips, articles, presentations and helpful links to complement efforts in public education at the local community level, says the organization.
“Municipalities and communities are key partners in raising the awareness about the importance of energy efficiency,” said Energy Minister Jack Keir. “Efficiency NB has done a great job engaging communities in encouraging energy efficiency and many of those communities are leading by example. This toolbox will be a valuable resource to help communities lower energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Community representatives using the toolbox will also have the opportunity to subscribe to “Community Update”, a newsletter highlighting energy-efficiency successes and information about the various programs available. The toolbox and monthly newsletter are part of an entire website section for communities that also provides:
· Information about financial incentives and capital management tools for municipalities
· Stories about successful community events
· Information about energy efficiency campaigns that have taken place throughout the province.
The link can be found at www.efficiencynb.ca/community.
Efficiency NB is the first Canadian organization to receive the International Star (I-Star) Award for Energy Efficiency by the Alliance to Save Energy. The award recognizes Efficiency NB's Large Industrial Program for pioneering creative energy efficiency programs and innovative solutions.
“It is terrific to see Efficiency NB recognized for its work in support of large industry in the province,” said New Brunswick Energy Minister Jack Keir. “The agency has a unique, customized approach to helping New Brunswick companies reduce energy use and lower costs while increasing productivity and competitiveness.”
According to Efficiency NB, the Large Industrial Program involves the province’s 30 main industrial facilities in an energy management partnership. It is based on three objectives: 1) identifying and encouraging the adoption of energy-efficiency projects; 2) implementing energy management information systems; and 3) educating participants about the importance of accurate and sustained energy savings.
“It is an honour for Efficiency NB to be the first Canadian organization recognized with this prestigious international award,” said Elizabeth Weir, president and CEO of Efficiency NB. “We are extremely proud of the impact we have achieved in energy efficiency in all sectors in the province. Our Large Industrial Program is an excellent example of the far-reaching benefits of energy efficiency, demonstrating the power of providing the tools and informed advice to assist in achieving significant reductions in energy use and in greenhouse gas emissions.”
For more information, go to www.efficiencynb.ca/enb.
The Energy Efficiency Capital Planning – Tool (EECP-T) and an accompanying guide were unveiled at the annual conference of the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick on Saturday, Oct. 3, in Fredericton, and will also be presented to francophone municipalities on Nov. 6 at the annual meeting of the Association francophones des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick.
The tool and guide were developed by Efficiency NB, in consultation with the Department of Local Government, to help municipalities and rural communities in New Brunswick better plan and prioritize the upgrade and renewal of their buildings. The tool also shows how savings from energy efficiency can be used to offset repair or replacement costs.
Energy Minister Jack Keir praised Efficiency NB’s initiative.
“This tool demonstrates how communities can benefit from a win-win-win situation: reduced energy costs, reduced environmental footprint, and increased funding for infrastructure renewal,” he said.
“Through Efficiency NB’s programs for retrofits, new construction and lighting, we are demonstrating to various sectors, including local governments and rural communities, how they can reduce costs by adopting energy efficiency improvements, especially when it comes to building management,” said Elizabeth Weir, president and CEO of Efficiency NB. “Municipalities can further benefit when they combine good strategic building management with energy efficiency.”
The guide provides information on the fundamentals of capital planning, and a simplified tool in the form of a spreadsheet, to help communities prioritize capital requirements and apply limited resources to projects that will result in maximum benefit.
The tool provides a structured path to developing an asset management plan, complete with comprehensive illustrations, to help convince decision-makers that strategic investments in energy efficiency projects can help municipalities manage their assets, prioritize infrastructure renewal, demonstrate environmental stewardship, and reduce operating costs.
“For the province to be self-sufficient, it is necessary for each community to be self-sufficient, too,” said Local Government Minister Bernard LeBlanc. “The EECP-T will provide municipalities and rural communities with a way to reduce their carbon footprint while benefiting in strategic investments in infrastructure. This will not only build a better quality of life for residents, but will also foster economic competitiveness.”
Municipalities and rural communities wishing to use the tool will be required to attend a one-day training session to learn how to apply it and realize its benefits.
Efficiency NB will host four training workshops this fall:
Oct. 20 in Bouctouche (French);
Oct. 28 in Quispamsis (English);
Nov. 24 in Perth-Andover (English); and
Dec. 1 in Campbellton (French).
More information is available from Efficiency NB by calling 1-866-643-8833, or in the commercial section at www.efficiencynb.ca.