Efficiency NB launches unique tool to help municipalities reinvest energy savings into building upgrades
FREDERICTON, NB — A unique capital-planning tool is now available to help New Brunswick municipalities plan and make more strategic decisions about repairing or replacing municipal buildings.
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.