June 28 2023, 13:00 PM
On May 24 and 25, 2023, we hosted our fourth annual Energizing Efficiency Conference. The Conference surpassed our goals from last year, making it a resounding success.
The event was sold out and brought together over 324 delegates, sponsors and showcase participants. It provided a thought-provoking opportunity for entertaining discussions and an inspiring atmosphere to envision a sustainable future energy landscape.
The conference served to unite like-minded individuals and organizations dedicated to driving positive change in the energy sector. Through networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing, the event created a sense of collective responsibility and urgency in addressing the impacts of climate change. Attendees were inspired by the diverse range of perspectives and expertise offered by our lineup of speakers.
"Customers’ increased interest in clean energy and the electricity sector’s focus on decarbonization to reduce the impact of climate change will energize our future,” said Lori Clark, President and CEO of NB Power. “The Energizing Efficiency Conference provided a tremendous opportunity to ensure we aren’t taking a siloed approach to the global issue of climate change here in New Brunswick, but rather taking every opportunity to come together and to share ideas and set a path forward together toward realistic change.”
Under the theme of "Building Momentum" the conference emphasized the importance of taking continued action to reduce energy consumption and transition to cleaner sources. The speaker sessions provided valuable insights into the potential of energy efficiency initiatives and emphasized the need to adopt these practices on a larger scale. Participants left the conference with a renewed sense of purpose and determination, ready to champion energy efficiency measures within their industries and communities.
Lori Clark, President and CEO kicked off the conference and spoke passionately about the transformative impact that NB Power’s efficiency programs are having for many New Brunswickers by making their homes more comfortable and energy efficient.
Our keynote speaker Jamie Dinsmore from Microsoft Canada left us with an inspiring message of how Microsoft is moving from “pledges to progress” and striving to be carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050 to remove all historical emissions made by the company since its inception in 1975.
Volunteers and Sponsors
The success of the 2023 Energizing Efficiency Conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors, the active participation of the delegates and the hard work from our dedicated volunteers, who ensured the event ran smoothly and created an enjoyable experience for all. We extend our sincere thanks to all the employees who demonstrated their commitment to driving positive change in the energy sector. Together with other organizations’ support, your contributions played an essential role in creating an event that will leave a lasting impact on all attendees.
See You Next Year!
We are already in discussions about next year's conference and are excited to announce that the conference will be held on April 23-24. Make sure you save the date! Stay tuned for more updates and join us as we continue to shape a sustainable and efficient future.
February 2 2023, 15:30 PM
We all know how quickly the weather in New Brunswick can change and this year is no different. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had snow, rain, freezing rain and now we are experiencing some very frigid temperatures. The lower the outside temperature, the more electricity we use to stay warm and energize our homes and businesses.
This week we are asking New Brunswickers to make small changes to manage their energy use during these extremely cold days and raise awareness about how we can all help reduce our electricity use. We will put a special focus on reducing peak electricity demand, which happens between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. when most people begin and wind down their days. During these peak times, we use the most expensive and least green energy to power New Brunswick.
Since about 60% of New Brunswick homes heat with electricity, the province’s consumption peaks in the winter months – double the electricity needed on a warm summer day. Extreme cold puts a lot of demand on the electricity system, which means that NB Power must use the most expensive and least green energy to meet demand.
At NB Power we are also planning to cut our energy use during this period by turning down the heat and shutting off lights and equipment that are not being used.
Small changes like taking a shorter shower, running large appliances overnight, unplugging electronics not in use, and reducing the temperature in unoccupied rooms by a degree or two can make a big difference. These small changes can help alleviate pressure on our energy grid during high demand times.
Developing these small habits can help you manage your energy use during peak demand and all year long. To learn more about peak visit our website.
When New Brunswickers use less electricity, we all win.
December 21 2022, 11:30 AM
Over the past few years, tiny homes have become a popular housing solution around the world. With their lower costs and smaller footprint, these structures are helping to reshape communities. Tiny homes have become a social movement as people look to downsize and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
New Brunswick entrepreneur Marcel LeBrun has registered over 70 tiny homes in the New Home Energy Savings Program and has completed construction on 35 homes as of fall 2022. When Marcel first contacted our efficiency team, we knew this was a special project and we were very excited to be part of it.
"Marcel is a visionary, and these are the types of projects that will help us to reach our goal of cleaner energy for the future," said Lori Clark, President and CEO of NB Power, “we are very proud to partner with Marcel on this development.”
Left to right, 12 Neighbours Community Resident, Marcel LeBrun Founder, and Lori Clark President and CEO of NB Power
Our team gave Marcel energy efficiency kits, advice tailored to the unique energy needs of tiny homes, and $10,000 in incentives for each home. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see this community take shape as a world-class example of what is possible when we create a space with dignified housing, a supportive community, and developmental opportunity. I’m very appreciative of NB Power for their guidance and support through the New Home Energy Savings Program,” said Marcel LeBrun Founder of the 12 Neighbours Community.
The homes are approximately 240 square feet and have a bathroom, a full kitchen including a 2-burner induction stovetop and apartment sized fridge, cathedral ceilings, a covered front deck, and are equipped with energy efficient LED lighting. The new homes are airtight with a thermal envelope that is 105% better than code standards, with excellent ventilation through a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV). Each home has energy efficient features such as rigid insulation, which is one of the best tools to reduce energy costs, and triple glazed windows that reduce noise and deliver greater energy. Homes are equipped with 3.3 kW of solar panels, connecting approximately 30 homes to a 600 Amp service entrance resulting in a large distributed 100 kW solar array across each group of 30 homes, keeping within the Net Metering Policy.
From left to right; Jeffrey St-Pierre, NB Power Technical Energy Advisor, Marcel Lebrun, 12 Neighbours Community Founder and Chairman, and Diane Spencer, NB Power Program Lead inside a tiny home.
Marcel is building more than just tiny homes. He is building a community. Everyone deserves safe, affordable, and permanent housing. Even more special is the vision for this community to see people overcome barriers to living a full and independent life. The community offers supports that help members achieve their personal goals, which may include substance use recovery counselling, opportunities to improve their health and education, and low barrier employment opportunities.
This community was a great opportunity for us at NB Power to learn from the vision of a local entrepreneur. We are very proud to partner with Marcel and are excited to watch this community grow and thrive.
To learn more about the tiny home community visit 12neighbours.com.
From left to right; Diane Spencer, NB Power Program Lead, Jeffrey St-Pierre, NB Power Technical Energy Advisor, and Miles Goff, Technical Energy Advisor in the 12 Neighbours Community.
June 17 2022, 10:03 AM
NB Power’s Energizing Efficiency Conference made a strong comeback last week, after a three-year hiatus due to pandemic restrictions.
The 2022 event took place June 7 and 8 at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. More than 280 people attended the conference and dinner, representing diverse business sectors, organizations and education centers.
From municipal utilities to efficiency service organizations and technology firms to not-for-profits, it was a great mix of participants, leading to exciting conversations and ideas.
Here are our top three takeaways from the conference:
Our conference was the first large in-person event in a long time for many attendees. There was a genuine sense of excitement about being together in the same room, instead of a virtual meeting like many are now used to. There were countless opportunities for networking; some attendees met for the first time, while others had the chance to reconnect and catch up after years apart.
Beyond the typical exchange of business cards and handshakes, we also saw lots of digital connections made through our conference app and LinkedIn.
One attendee shared that the first morning of the conference felt like the first day of school, with everyone trying to remember social etiquette after a long break. Those who had first day jitters quickly shook the feeling as they settled into a full agenda of keynotes and breakout sessions.
The calibre of presenters and the information they shared was top-notch. Several attendees said the Energizing Efficiency Conference was on par or better than any they’ve attended.
There was something for everyone, with a full agenda to allow you to tailor your experience to your knowledge and interests. There were two keynotes: The Future of Transportation in Canada by Nino Di Cara, President and Founder, Electric Autonomy Canada, and Energizing Efficiency by Embracing Your Inner Sales Professional by Mark Jewell, President, Selling Energy.
Throughout the two-day event, knowledgeable experts shared their learnings and perspectives on topics from helping low income homeowners to building code developments, and from First Nations sustainable building projects to managing HVAC systems.
A common theme throughout the sessions focused on the many reasons for people to care about energy efficiency, including climate change, cost-savings, comfort, productivity, safety and demonstrating environmental leadership.
Electric vehicles were also a topic on everyone’s mind, with a Tesla parked in the tradeshow hall and test drives offered to attendees through our EV Test Drive Tour with Plug’n Drive.
The most thrilling takeaway is the collaboration between everyone at the conference. You could see the “AHA” moments happening throughout the convention centre as individuals came together and recognized how they could work together to fulfill common goals.
People left sessions feeling inspired and bubbling over with excitement about how to take what they had learned and the connections they had made back to their organizations to be able to help even more New Brunswickers.
Ideas for projects and research came to light even during the question-and-answer portions of presentations, showing that putting the right people together can result in amazing things.
Tracey Somers, our Conference Lead, was thrilled by the feedback from attendees.
“To be able to offer a first-class conference experience here in New Brunswick makes us incredibly proud,” Tracey said. “Bringing together energy and community leaders to network and learn and ultimately, help New Brunswickers save energy, help the environment and drive our economy, is really what the conference is all about.”
Plans are already underway for the 2023 conference. Connect with us if you have topic or speaker ideas.
A special thank you to our conference sponsors:
Conference App Sponsor
January 21 2022, 10:19 AM
With extremely cold temperatures across the province last week, we asked everyone to reduce their energy consumption to help New Brunswick Beat the Peak.
And it worked!
Peak electricity demand happens in the morning from 6 until 9, and in the afternoon from 4 until 8, when most families begin and wind down their days.
Thanks to the many customers who made small changes to reduce or delay energy use during peak demand periods, we reduced the need to use the most carbon-based energy to power New Brunswick during the cold snap.
Here’s how high in-province demand peaked last week:
January 11, 8-9 a.m. - 3,028 megawatts (MW)
January 11, 6-7 p.m. - 2,936 MW
January 12, 8-9 a.m. - 3,177 MW (second highest demand of all-time!)
The record for peak electricity demand in New Brunswick happened in January 2004, at 3,326 MW in the morning. For comparison, we only need about 1,500 MW to meet the needs of customers on a typical summer morning.
It’s our job to meet New Brunswickers’ energy needs all year-long and we had an opportunity to reduce the need for the most expensive energy. It was important for us to do our part, so early last week, many of our employees took steps to be ready for the peak periods.
- Teams identified and implemented energy savings at NB Power generating stations and offices to reduce our own consumption. These actions included lowering temperatures in unoccupied spaces and delaying the operation of some of our equipment in our plants.
- Generation employees readied and tested our reserve combustion turbine energy sources at Millbank, Ste. Rose and Grand Manan so they’d be ready if needed.
- We dispatched our Peak Rebate Program, where 50 commercial and industrial customers who have signed up to work with us on peak demand through the winter months take action to reduce energy use for two-hour periods.
- Our Key Account Specialists reached out to dozens of business customers who represent much of the energy use in the province. Most business owners and managers said that they appreciated the heads up and chance to make changes that would help them manage energy costs as well.
- We partnered with municipal electric utilities in the province, including Saint John Energy who issued its own Shave the Peak alerts for their customers.
- We shared information with New Brunswickers on social media, by email and on local radio stations to encourage everyone to join the effort.
Jean Marc Landry, NB Power’s Chief Customer Officer, is energized by New Brunswickers’ enthusiasm and interest in beating the peak. Many energy companies engage customers to help manage peak demand events in North America.
“It was great to hear how receptive our business customers were to making adjustments to their operations for a couple of days,” said Jean Marc. “They recognized that saving energy would not only help the province, but their bottom lines.”
Since this was the first time in years that NB Power asked customers to help Beat the Peak for specific dates, there were lots of discussions and questions.
“We recognize that this is a difficult time for many New Brunswickers, especially with so many working and learning from home,” said Jean Marc. “Thank you to all customers who made a small change to their routines to help lower overall demand of electricity during the morning and early evening periods. Together, we were able to avoid using the most expensive and least environmentally sustainable energy sources, which benefits the whole province.”
Thankfully, cold snaps like the one experienced last week are temporary, and so are our requests for New Brunswickers to use less power. But saving energy is always a good thing to do, for managing your power bill and helping the environment.
Thank you, New Brunswick!