Government of New Brunswick

Importance to New Brunswick
In addition to the essential and obvious need for a healthy environment, our province’s environmental stewardship affects how competitive we are in attracting investment, marketing goods and services, and economic development. There is a growing demand for businesses to address the environmental sustainability of operations and supply chains, including such factors as carbon intensity, land and water management, and social acceptability.

A key environmental indicator is the level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a main component of which is carbon dioxide. In New Brunswick, energy use is responsible for 92 percent of GHG emissions. Energy policy is therefore closely tied to our carbon footprint. Our province must do its part to reduce GHG emissions and remain competitive.

New Brunswick’s economy is highly reliant on industries that are heavy energy users and also export oriented. Reducing our environmental footprint will help our exporters remain competitive in a world that is increasingly environmentally conscious. Energy policy must be directed at mitigating the risk that our industries may lose their competitive position in markets that account for environmental responsibility, particularly with respect to GHG emissions.

In addition to risk mitigation, there are opportunities that flow from environmental leadership. There is greater recognition within our business community of the economic advantages of environmental sustainability and reducing GHG emissions. Our energy and environmental policies and practices can lead to more employment opportunities and economic growth. Energy efficiency programs offer one example of how sound environmental policies can spur local investment. As investments in energy efficiency are made, jobs are created for New Brunswickers in retrofitting and refurbishing existing houses and commercial buildings. In addition, when companies reduce their energy consumption and related energy costs, they have greater financial flexibility to invest in their operations, and improve their overall competitiveness.

Current Progress
The Province of New Brunswick has implemented a number of regulatory measures and agreements which have resulted in reducing air contaminant emissions at our industrial and commercial facilities. All new development projects are subject to emissions standards and review processes, which are continually being upgraded. Also, we are presently on track to meet our provincial greenhouse gas targets. This progress on climate change sets the foundation for the 2012 - 2020 planning period and clarifies actions needed to address future challenges.

New Brunswick is making significant progress toward low carbon electricity generation. When the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station returns to service in 2012, approximately 65 percent of the electricity we produce and use will come from clean, non-emitting or renewable energy sources.

Efficiency NB has a strong reputation as an agency with the know-how and capacity to deliver cost-effective energy efficiency programs. Throughout the industrial, commercial, residential and transportation sectors, energy efficiency has great potential to significantly reduce our energy costs and lower our carbon footprint.

Our province’s location and strong interconnections with neighbouring jurisdictions allow access to clean energy sources such as hydro electricity and natural gas, and provide electrical load balancing opportunities to help develop more renewable energy resources.

A Vision for the Future
It is likely that carbon emissions will have an associated cost in the future while, at the same time, fossil fuels will also likely increase in price. Both situations provide ample reason to ensure we have the ability to shift away from volatile fossil fuels to more stable priced fuel sources. As a result, energy efficiency, renewable and non-emitting energy, and cleaner alternative fuels will have an increased role in our energy profile.

Led by the Department of Environment and in collaboration with other government departments, stakeholders and industry, a new 2012-2020 NB Climate Change Action Plan is under development. The Plan will identify a number of initiatives in the areas of energy use, transportation, waste management, industrial sources, partnerships and communication. The plan will play a leading role in New Brunswick achieving its current target of reducing GHG emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

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
6.   Smart Grid Technology and Innovation
7.   Large Industrial Renewable Energy Purchase Program
8.   Renewable Portfolio Standard
9.   Future Development of our Renewable Energy Resources
10. Wood Based Biomass Resources
11. Energy and Climate Change
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