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National Lineworker Appreciation Day

July 10 2019, 11:29 AM

National Lineworker Appreciation Day

July 10th is the anniversary of the death of Henry Miller, lineworker and founding president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). He died on the job from electrocution.

To honour the important work linemen like Henry do every day across Canada, The Canadian Electricity Association is proposing that July 10 become National Lineworker Appreciation Day. 

Lineworkers are the people who make sure Canadians have the power they need. But their jobs are not easy. The Globe and Mail ranked lineworkers as having one of the 10 riskiest jobs in Canada in 2019.

Ross Galbraith, Business Manager of IBEW Local 37 in New Brunswick, said this day commemorates Henry’s death and recognizes lineworkers who continue to do dangerous work.

“It is important to recognize the work that they do to provide safe and reliable power.  They do this not only during a blue sky day but also during times of significant bad weather events.”

Nicole Poirier, NB Power’s Executive Director of Customer Services, said this day also recognizes the teams that support our lineworkers. Lineworkers are supported everyday by employees working in all areas of the company, such as the warehouse, engineering, dispatch, customer service, IT and accounting.  It really takes the entire team working together to make it all happen.

Line work is not for everyone. It takes a special person to spend so much time away from their loved ones and perform such a dangerous job. We appreciate and thank all our lineworkers for their dedication to their communities.

5 tips for a successful summer renovation

June 28 2019, 14:14 PM

5 tips for a successful summer renovation

Summer can be the perfect time for home renovations and energy efficiency should be top of mind. Our Total Home Energy Savings Program can help. Big or small- a renovation can make a big impact on the look, comfort and even value of your home. But where should you start? We’ve asked our in-house building expert, Lauren Lipka for his top tips to help make your renovation a success.

Start with a plan

Sounds simple- but a little bit of planning can go a long way to making your renovation a success. Write down your goals, what your needs are and include a wish list or Pinterest inspiration board. That all-white kitchen, though stunning, might not be the right fit if you like to cook big meals or have young kids.

From his years of building experience with the Canadian Home Builders Association, Lauren says that your renovation goals should reflect how you live day-to-day. You’ll want to factor in things like how people move through, and use the space you’re renovating. You’ll want to make sure your goals and plan fit into your budget.

Find your perfect contractors

Whether it’s a big or small renovation, a reputable contractor can help make sure the job is done right; under your budget and help you navigate and get any needed permits. Home renovations can come with lots of surprises. A reputable contractor can help you make the best calls when an unexpected expense or issue pops up mid-reno. They also know the ins and outs of local and National building codes and can ensure your renovation is done the right way to help keep you safe. Great contractors have a track record of satisfied customers and can provide you with customer references upon request. We encourage customers to obtain three quotes and references prior to selecting a contractor.

Make Your Home Energy Efficient

Want a renovation that puts money back in your pocket? Consider how you can build efficiency into your plan. Upgrading appliances? Look for the ENERGY STAR® certified label. Redoing your kitchen? Opt for LED lighting to brighten up your cooking space.

If you’re doing a major remodel, Lauren recommends having a certified Energy Advisor come and do an evaluation of your home through the Total Home Energy Savings Program. These evaluations show you where heat or cool air are leaking from your home. Energy Advisors will recommend upgrades that help improve your home’s envelope to keep your heating or cooling inside where it belongs. This keeps you and your family more comfortable year round. Plus, when you’re not heating the outdoors, it’s good for your wallet too. Check out this video to see what else is involved in an energy evaluation.

Make Your Home Healthier

What better outcome from a renovation than to have a healthy, comfortable home for you and your family? This can be of even bigger benefit if someone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma or other health conditions. Consider ENERGY STAR certified air exchangers, dehumidifiers or heat pumps when doing your renovation. They’ll not only make the air in your home cleaner, but they’ll help save you money in the long run too.

Think Green

Did you know there are lots of products on the market that are sustainably made or environmentally friendly? From lumber to flooring, there are many ways you can green up your renovation. Cork flooring is one flooring option that’s a sustainable choice. Consider natural stone for counter tops for a sleek, yet environmentally friendly option. Roof shingles made from recycled plastic, sustainably certified lumber and composite beams are all great options as well. Check with your contractor or local renovation store for the best green options near you.

 

What is your biggest renovation lesson? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

 

Building a smarter grid

June 17 2019, 11:48 AM

Building a smarter grid

Building a smarter grid

As the energy industry continues to transform and diversify, New Brunswickers will have more choices on how they use energy to power their lives. Customer expectations are changing. To keep pace, we are changing too.

Today, we are building the power grid we need tomorrow - a modern digital energy network that will:

  • give New Brunswickers more options for saving money, time and electricity
  • communicate with us so we can respond to outages more quickly
  • connect with renewable energy sources

The electricity grid is a complex system with one important job: to deliver safe, reliable electricity from power plants across New Brunswick to our customers’ homes and businesses. A modern grid is smarter, cleaner, more resilient and efficient.

What a smarter grid means for you

In the future, you may want to do more than use electricity. You may want to produce it and save it for later, like during a power outage. Or maybe you want it to play a different role in your life, not only at home but on the road.

You’ll have more choices and opportunities in the future for how you use energy.

Smart meters and the grid

Smart meters are one step on the journey to a smarter grid. A smart meter looks similar to our current meter. What makes it different is that it allows two-way communication, over a secure network, giving New Brunswickers the information they need to see and manage their energy use.

Picture this- you’re sitting at home catching up on your favorite TV show, and a lost signal message pops up on your screen. In many cases, before you even have a chance to grab your phone and call your provider, your favorite show is back up and running.

When you lose signal, your cable box sends a signal to your service provider to let them know about the issue. With current technologies, they can send a signal back to your box to try to diagnose the problem. Smart meters enable a similar two-way communication.

Utilities with this feature are seeing improved reliability and restoration speed. Their customers appreciate the added convenience.

Let’s look at some of the other benefits of smart meters:

  • Knowledge is power

    Your online access to detailed energy information will help you make informed usage decisions.

  • Save with high bill alerts

You will be able to set up alerts to let you know when your energy use goes up and get tips on how to lower it so you can stay on budget.

  • Quicker service

    Smart meters enable us to remotely connect and reconnect service to your home so you get quicker service at a time that’s convenient for you.
  • Faster power restoration

In many cases, smart meters will send notices to NB Power when the power is out. This allows us to start the restoration as quickly as possible so we can get the power back on faster.

  • Greener operations

    NB Power can do more work remotely and that means fewer visits and lower carbon emissions.

Meet Sue and Martin Brannon

Here’s a real life example of a couple who are seeing first-hand the benefits of smart meters.

 

Sue and Martin Brannon were born and raised in New Brunswick, but now share their time between New Brunswick and Florida. They have a smart meter in their home in Florida, which allows them to check their usage, set up bill alerts and receive notices if their power goes out from their home right here in New Brunswick.

Learn more about smart meters.

Note: Provincial deployment pending Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) approval

Point Lepreau employee takes expertise and passion to international level

June 10 2019, 08:29 AM

Point Lepreau employee takes expertise and passion to international level

Ross Horgan has packed a lot of experience into his 12 years in the nuclear industry.

He graduated from the Electrical Engineering Technology Program at NBCC in 2007, and started working at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station later that year as an Electrical Instrumentation & Control Maintainer.

“During my first month on-site I believe some station personnel legitimately thought I was a lost student from Take Our Kids to Work Day,” said Ross. “I took pride in joining the NB Power team and was determined to conduct high-quality maintenance on the digital control computers and plant data logging computers for the reactor. Before my employment with NB Power, I had experience maintaining similar systems, but never in the nuclear industry where each individual learns the unique responsibility inherent with using nuclear technology.”

After becoming a Performance Improvement Coordinator at Point Lepreau in 2015, Ross had the opportunity to learn about the major role the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) plays in the industry. He said it was an eye-opening experience working with the organization on ways to leverage other stations’ lessons learned to help here at home in New Brunswick.

In 2017, Ross had the opportunity to be one of PLNGS’s Host Peers for the WANO Peer Review. Peer reviews help members compare themselves against standards of excellence through an in-depth, objective review of their operations. As a Host Peer, Ross was a member of the evaluation team consisting of international nuclear leaders. This experience gave Ross a new goal for his career- to become an industry leader in nuclear safety.

Last fall, he took another step toward that goal when he was selected as the Young Generation Coordinator for the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) from applicants all over the world. This 18-month secondment involves Ross spending half his time in his role at Point Lepreau, and half working remotely for WANO. This includes travelling worldwide representing and financed by the WANO London office.

As part of this new journey, Ross is focused on improvement initiatives for WANO Young Generation which allows nuclear industry leaders to engage the next generation of nuclear workers.

“I work with the Young Generation in nuclear to ensure they’re aware of the benefits of taking on positions and special projects that develop needed competencies to broaden their understanding of the varied roles and responsibilities within their respective organisations,” said Ross. “Through working with a variety of managers who serve as role models in my professional development I’ve been able to accomplish my career aspirations. It’s beneficial to young generation members to be aware of the professional development opportunities WANO provides.”

For Ross, one of the highlights of this experience so far was the 2019 WANO Young Generation Exchange Assembly he organized and hosted in February. The four-day international conference was based in Paris, France, and included a tour of the Gösgen Nuclear Power Plant in Switzerland. Leadership development opportunities, a look-ahead to nuclear power in 2050 and a discussion on how to engage the next generation were all aspects of the four days involving 20 representatives from Stations in Canada, United States, South Korea, Japan, Armenia, US, Russia, India and United Kingdom.

This summer, Ross will also be a speaker at the Canadian Nuclear Society’s annual conference. He will also moderate a roundtable discussion in Obninsk, Russia at the 65th anniversary of the commissioning for the first grid- connected nuclear power plant in the world.

Mark Power, Point Lepreau Station Director, says that this partnership with WANO not only benefits Ross in his development as a leader, but it is an excellent industry networking opportunity for Point Lepreau.

“We are so proud to have Ross representing Point Lepreau and advocating for the younger generation of the nuclear workforce,” says Mark. “Ross has demonstrated his passion and leadership at our Station for years, so it’s exciting for him to have the opportunity to develop and grow at the international level. Our Station is benefitting from his experience which will assist us as we continue our journey toward Excellence.”

 

5 Takeaways from the 2019 Energizing Efficiency Conference

May 9 2019, 13:20 PM

5 Takeaways from the 2019 Energizing Efficiency Conference

What does it take to energize efficiency? We rounded up some of the top experts in building, industry, marketing and of course, efficiency this week for our second annual Energizing Efficiency Conference to find out.

If you weren’t fortunate enough to be an attendee this year, we captured the top takeaways from our speakers to help spark your own energy efficiency journey. 

  1. “Energy efficiency touches every sector of the economy”, Corey Diamond, the executive director of Efficiency Canada told conference attendees. The efficiency sector is poised for a major breakthrough as a job creator and agent of change. He said the four keys to the sector taking the next step will be moving beyond mere incremental change, unlocking private sector capital, moving towards a more comprehensive “value chain” of efficiency and mobilizing the message. Energy efficiency is Canada’s most plentiful and lowest-cost energy resource.

 

  1. How do we Market Energy Efficient Homes? According to Gunther Foerster of Progeny Modern Homes, we need to emphasize the cool factor, do the math and make the business case for a negligible energy bill and higher property values and we need to appeal to homeowners’ desire for a comfortable healthier home for their families.

 

  1. Commercial buildings need tune ups too! Building systems can be very complex, highly technical and often require integration between systems. Building use or occupancy can change. And, as equipment ages, its performance can change. Performance problems are often solved by treating the symptoms and not the actual cause. Luc Dugas of Maritech and Adam McMullin of the City of Barrie showed us how building recommissioning offers huge opportunities to save energy, decrease maintenance costs and promote tenant satisfaction and retention.

 

  1. Energy is the starting point for municipalities to meet their climate objectives. A Smart Energy Community seamlessly integrates local, renewable and conventional energy sources to efficiently, cleanly and affordably meet all its energy needs. It is a coveted, highly livable place to live, work, learn and play. Your community can get there by taking advantage of energy efficiency, integrating conventional networks, harnessing local energy opportunities and integrating land use. Eddie Oldfield of QUEST and Sara Mudge of NB Power are ready to work with communities in New Brunswick.

 

  1. Want to have success in the energy sector selling services, products, equipment, or programs? Mark Jewell is an expert in teaching people how to sell energy and efficiency. He says you need to learn to frame your offering using jargon and yardsticks that mean something to your customer. A manufacturing facility might focus on cost per unit, downtime vs operating time, health and safety incidents, energy cost per unit. A commercial building owner cares about rent per square foot, occupancy percentage, operating expenses, maintenance, or asset value. It’s about doing your research and speaking your customer’s language.

 

If you like what you see here, you can sign up for conference updates to find out when you can get your tickets to next year’s conference May 12 and 13 in Saint John, New Brunswick. If you’re interested in being a speaker at our conference next year, contact us at EESAdmin@nbpower.com.

 

 

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