Government of New Brunswick

Importance to New Brunswick
Energy security is about ensuring that New Brunswick has access to energy supplies that are essential to our daily lives and economic activity. Although the threat of supply shortages has rarely surfaced in New Brunswick, global supply and demand factors, particularly in relation to crude oil prices, can have significant impacts on short and long term energy costs in New Brunswick.

In terms of our electrical grid, security means ensuring that New Brunswick optimizes generation capacity using indigenous and domestic sources, such as hydro, wind and nuclear, while minimizing reliance on imported fuels for generation, such as oil and coal. Security also refers to ongoing and reliable access to electricity imports, for both short term and long term requirements.

In addition, energy security is achieved by reducing overall demand for power – through demand side management and energy efficiency programs – and reducing exposure to external market risks.

Energy security includes a commitment to ensuring that New Brunswickers receive fair and reasonable treatment from their electric utilities, including winter disconnect policies. Security can also refer to the reliability of the electrical grid, which is discussed in the next section.

Energy security is enhanced by ensuring a diversity of energy sources and the ability to migrate from one source to another. For example, sustained high oil prices may eventually cause a greater shift to other forms of energy for transportation and alternate sources for home heating.

Current Progress
New Brunswick is fortunate to have a secure supply of energy. We currently have sufficient capacity to meet our peak electricity demand requirements, and most of the electricity we use is generated from domestic and indigenous sources such as hydro, wind, biomass and nuclear. This reduces our reliance on imported fuels and our susceptibility to volatile fuel prices.

Access to natural gas in New Brunswick comes from multiple sources. The Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) has supplied offshore domestic gas to New Brunswick via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NP) since 1999. This has since been joined by a supply of indigenous onshore gas from the McCully Field, located in the Sussex region, and by liquefied natural gas imports into the Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John.

Finally, our connection to the vast natural gas network in the eastern United States via the M&NP allows us to import gas into the province in the event that our other sources are unable to meet the New Brunswick natural gas load demand.

New Brunswick will continue to require oil imports, particularly for transportation, industrial processing and space heating. Our supply of refined petroleum products comes mainly from Canada’s largest refinery located in Saint John, which has been in continuous operation and a secure source of petroleum products since 1960. It produces gasoline and other products for both domestic and export markets. New Brunswick also has regular access to petroleum supplies from other refineries in Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Aspects of energy security that have gained, and will continue to garner, increased prominence in our society are risk assessment and management, and Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP). Increasing and more complex threats to energy systems from natural and deliberate acts require action by governments and owners/operators to ensure economic and public safety risks are managed. These threats must be balanced against multiple demands, including pressures to keep energy costs low for domestic and export markets.

In order to proactively address risk and security issues in our energy sector, the Province has formed an Energy Sectoral working group on CIP under the lead of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). This group comprises representatives from DPS, the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development, Public Safety Canada, policing and intelligence services, NB Power and the municipal electric utilities, and the major private sector energy companies operating in New Brunswick. Each of these organizations has its own security and risk management programs in place, and involvement with the Energy Sectoral CIP group allows for efficient communication of potential risks and threats as well as providing a forum to discuss industry best practices and opportunities for improvement in areas of risk assessment and security.

A Vision for the Future
Under a scenario where global energy prices continue to rise and are subject to volatility, New Brunswick will reduce its reliance on imported fuel sources for electricity generation and home heating, replacing it with a greater reliance on domestic energy sources, including renewable energy and natural gas.

Efficiency programs will also serve to reduce our dependence on foreign energy. Government will continue towork closelywith our federal partners and industry stakeholders to ensure our critical energy infrastructure and supply channels in New Brunswick remain as secure as possible.

Energy Action Plan Items linked to this objective
To achieve this objective, New Brunswick will pursue the following Energy Action Plan items:

  4. NB Power – Regulatory Oversight and Integrated Resource Plan
  5. Regional Electricity Partnerships
  8. Renewable Portfolio Standard
  9. Future Development of our Renewable Energy Resources
10. Wood Based Biomass Resources
12. Electricity Efficiency Plan
13. Energy Efficiency Building Code Standards
14. Energy Efficient Appliances and Equipment
19. Energy Literacy, Education and Skills Development
20. Energy Research and Development