March 18, 2014
The introduction and adoption of the Electricity Act and the restructuring of the Energy and Utilities Board are among the highlights in the New Brunswick Energy Blueprint's Second Progress Report, published March 18.
The New Brunswick Energy Blueprint, released in 2011, is a 10-year vision and action plan for New Brunswick's energy sector. It includes 20 key action items focused on taking full advantage of emerging energy opportunities while addressing key energy challenges.
"Since our last update, significant progress has again been made with respect to all outstanding Energy Blueprint action items," said Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard. "With 60 per cent of action items complete, we are well on our way to completing the implementation of the blueprint's remaining action items within the next few months."
Highlights of the second progress report include:
- the introduction and adoption of the Electricity Act, which enabled the re-integration of the NB Power group of companies, the New Brunswick System Operator and the New Brunswick Electric Finance Corporation into a single Crown utility as well as ensured effective regulatory oversight of its new structure;
- the strengthening of the Energy and Utilities Board by restructuring it with exclusively full-time members; and
- the adoption of legislation that will enable the Office of the Attorney General to recruit a public energy advocate for the province, replacing the previous ad-hoc system.
Outstanding action items that are underway and will be concluded in the coming weeks and months include:
- a new policy framework to increase the provincial renewable portfolio standard to a minimum of 40 per cent of NB Power's in-province sales by 2020;
- the adoption of supporting policies to optimize the energy output from wood-based biomass resources in the province;
- the development of key energy components for the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan;
- the evaluation and review of the electric utilities' three-year electricity efficiency plan;
- a legislative amendment to include energy efficiency provisions in building standards;
- a comprehensive review of the Petroleum Products Pricing Act to ensure that it is achieving price stability while ensuring the lowest possible price to the consumer; and
- the implementation of various energy literacy, education and skills development initiatives.
"The blueprint is our government's guide to an energy future based on low and stable energy prices, energy security, reliability of the electrical system, environmental responsibility and effective regulation," said Leonard. "With this important document as our guide, our government is profoundly reshaping New Brunswick's energy landscape. By working today to improve our province's energy policies, we can ensure the health of New Brunswick's energy sector for generations to come."
The New Brunswick Energy Blueprint - Department of Energy and Mines
For more information :