A re-elected Liberal Government will double its investment in energy efficiency programs.
Gallant specified that a re-elected Liberal Government will double the province’s investments in the Low Income Energy Savings Program, going from $2 million to $4 million per year. It will also double its investment in the Energy Retrofit Program, going from $20.25 million to $40.5 million per year to make hospitals, schools, and other government buildings more energy efficient.
When they last formed the government, Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives slashed the budget for Efficiency NB several times as a cost saving measure and abolished its marketing division and its CEO position. The CEO position was later re-established by the Conservatives as a patronage appointment for long-time Conservative MLA Margaret-Ann Blaney.
In 2015, the Gallant Government followed through on its commitment to merge Efficiency NB with NB Power to help reduce energy consumption and lower costs for consumers. Investments in energy efficiency programs have grown gradually ever since, including the following successes:
- The Smart Habits Efficiency Program, which provides tools and strategies for New Brunswickers to more effectively manage heating in their homes;
- The Home Energy Report Program, which exceeded annual energy savings targets by 37 percent;
- The Low Income Energy Savings Program, which more than doubled the number of completed homes;
- The Home Insulation Energy Savings Program, which exceeded its target of 2000 registrations;
- The In-Store Product Rebate Program, which more than doubled its program goals by delivering 18GWh in savings compared to its 8GWh target;
- The creation of the Total Home Energy Saving Program, which allows homeowners to replace their home’s insulation (so far over 1600 New Brunswick homes have signed up);
- The creation of the New Home Construction Program with over 100 registrations in the short time since it’s been launched;
- The Commercial Building Retrofit Program, which is exceeding program targets with 5GWh in savings coming from the 89 buildings subscribed;
- The Small Business Lighting Program, with upwards of 300 companies registered;
- Creation of the new Industrial Program that has had strong uptake with 24 projects approved for completion next year;
- Creation of the new Commercial and Industrial Demand Response Program that has also exceeded expectations in terms of companies signing on and aims to lower peak provincial energy demand in New Brunswick;
- The installation NB Power’s eCharge network, which currently has 31 standard level-2 charging stations and 18 fast-charging stations. New Brunswick is the first fully connected province with a fast charging network for electric vehicles.
- The creation of the Locally-owned Renewable Energy Small Scale (LORESS) program, which encourages the creation of new renewable generation to serve the province’s demand for energy and contribute to the goal of having 40 per cent of in-province electricity sales generated from renewable energy.
In addition, we have already invested over $20-million in the Energy Retrofit Program in 2017-2018, representing a 50% increase over our investments in the two previous years. Through investments in renewable energy initiatives over the course of its previous mandate, the Gallant Government has ensured that provincial buildings, including schools and hospitals, will be more energy efficient and have reduced operating costs. From 2015 to 2017, energy efficiency programs in New Brunswick provided NB Power customers with total savings of $67 million.