Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I take part in this research?
The Town of Shediac has a vision to be the leading smart energy community in New Brunswick and in the process help New Brunswick build a smarter grid that we will need in the future.
As a resident of Shediac, you are already part of a strong history of early adoption and leadership in the energy sector. For example, did you know Shediac was the first community in New Brunswick to adopt LED street lighting?
Now, Shediac has the opportunity to keep that tradition of innovation thriving by becoming the first Smart Energy Community in New Brunswick. It’s not every day you get the chance to participate in something that will shape the energy future of our province and our country!
How is the research being conducted?
The study has three phases:
Phase 1 – We want to recruit as many people as possible for a broad energy study. This will help us to better understand how energy is used in your community and which energy technologies are best suited to test in Phase 2.
Phase 2 – We will deploy a variety of technologies based on what we learned from Phase 1. More info will be available in spring 2020.
Phase 3 – We will apply what we have learned during the previous phases to help inform the modernization of the New Brunswick power grid.
Who is involved in this research project?
The research project is a joint partnership between the Town of Shediac, NB Power, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), with support from the Town of Shediac.
The project is funded by grants from the Government of Canada through the departments of Natural Resources Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada as well as contributions from NB Power, NRC and Siemens Canada.
What are you asking me to do?
We ask you to complete a series of online surveys during the project. The first survey, which will be in fall 2019, will take about 15 minutes. You will be asked to tell us about your household and your energy habits. There will be up to seven (7) additional short online surveys between fall 2019 and spring 2022, in which we will ask about your opinions of the research project, your technology and energy habits, about what is important to you, and energy-efficiency more generally. For every survey you complete as part of this project, we will donate $10 to the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Center, a local charity, to express our thanks to you for considering to participate.
We ask you to be home at a pre-arranged time for NB Power or its representative to visit your home to assess its compatibility with new energy technologies the study would like to test. Completing the house assessment might require follow-up visits for clarification. Any visit we make will only be pre-arranged at a time that is convenient to you. We will donate $10 to the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Center after the house assessment is complete.
NB Power also asks for your permission to share your electricity use data for 2019-2022 with the National Research Council (NRC) to study your energy use.
What will the project team do?
We will visit your home to confirm what energy technologies you currently use in your home and determine what other technologies may work best. Someone will need to be home at the time of the assessment, and possibly for follow-up visits. You will receive a report about the assessment. We will use this report to help determine which technologies we want to test in Phase 2, and which homes might be good candidates to test the technologies. If your home is a good match for Phase 2, we will contact you to talk about that.
NB Power will update your electricity meter to a smart meter so that your energy data is collected in a suitable way for this study.
NRC will send you invitations by e-mail to complete the surveys online, at intervals during the study period.
Do I have to change my behaviour?
No, you will not have to make any changes in your daily routine as part of the research.
Will my electric bill be affected by participating in this research?
No. NB Power will continue to bill you monthly on your actual energy consumption as we do today.
How long will the research project take?
The research project will last from when you sign up until the end of June 2022.
What if I sell or move out of my home during the project?
To understand your energy use, the data needs to be collected over an extended period of time from the same buildings. If you move during the project, you will no longer be able to participate. Due to the nature of the research, the new owners or occupants would not be eligible to take your place in the project.
What if I want to or need to leave the project?
We hope that you stay with the project; however, you have the right to leave the project at any time. Your participation will not change your relationship with NB Power in any way.
What kind of meter will be installed as part of this pilot project?
During the first phase of the project, we will be upgrading your meter to a more advanced meter. This new meter will have the capability of taking consumption reading on a more frequent basis than you old meter.
In the fall of 2020, this meter will be replaced with a smart meter (capable of two-way communication).
What information will you collect about my household?
The smart meters collect real-time data about your electricity use and send it to NB Power.
There will also be up to eight (8) surveys in this project. NRC will send you emails to invite you to complete the surveys online.
Who will have access to data I provide?
Through the smart meters, NB Power will have access to your real-time energy use data. Energy data collected for the purposes of this research project will be collected and shared with the National Research Council (NRC) only for the duration of the project—from the time you begin the program until the end of the project in June 2022.
The survey data will go directly to NRC only. Only authorized project staff at NRC will have access to the individual survey data. Data stored at NRC will be anonymous. During data collection, data will be identified with location information necessary to trouble-shoot the technology and to verify performance.
Once the data collection is complete, data from each home will be identified with a unique ID code so that we can match data from different sources. Once that has been done, electronic records that could provide individual or building identification data will be destroyed. Electronic databases with the raw anonymous data will be retained indefinitely.
Your responses will be kept confidential, subject to the requirements of applicable right to information and privacy legislation. In the event of a requested disclosure, the applicable legislation contains the process by which any request is handled and most disclosures would not reveal any personal information. If you require more detailed information with respect to privacy issues, please contact NB Power or the National Research Council of Canada.
How will my data be used?
Data from all of the participating households will be combined to produce reports about both your individual energy use as well as your community’s energy use. Your information will be combined with those from other participants, and presented without any identifying information, usually as totals combined from the many participants. If information from the research project is to be used in reports or publications, no identifying information will be included.
The results of the house assessment, survey responses, and your individual energy use profile will be used to determine your eligibility for participation in Phase 2 of this project.
What happens during Phase 2 of the project?
Based on the early results of Phase 1, the project team will determine which technologies should be studied in the community during Phase 2. We will select potential Phase 2 participants from the Phase 1 participants based on their home’s compatibility with the technology. It is anticipated that not every Phase 1 participants’ home will be compatible for the energy technologies to be tested in the study. Final participant selection will be based on a fair and open process overseen by officials from the Town of Shediac. A separate information package and participation agreement will be created for Phase 2.
What happens when the project is over?
At the end of the research project, we will stop sharing your energy use data with NRC.
Q. Who oversees this research?
This research project has been reviewed by the NRC Research Ethics Board (REB), as protocol 2019-34. REB review seeks to ensure that research projects meet Canadian standards of ethics. Any questions or concerns about the ethics of this research project may be directed to the NRC-REB Secretariat by e-mail at REB-CER@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca, or by calling +1 (613) 949-8681.