Energy efficiency responsibility needs to be returned to an independent agency

FREDERICTON – The Auditor General report released this morning found that NB Power’s energy saving programs are difficult to access by low and moderate-income households despite 37% of New Brunswick households experiencing energy poverty, where they spend more than 6% of their income on energy. NB Power has slashed its energy saving targets and failed to implement government’s commitments on energy efficiency contained in the Climate Action Plan.

“Efficiency New Brunswick was dismantled by the Liberals in 2015, after being defunded by the Conservatives in 2013, who made deep cuts in its budget and laid off half its staff,” said NB Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon. “The Auditor General’s revelations that NB Power has failed to deliver on government commitments for home energy saving programs demonstrates the need to return responsibility for them to an independent agency like Efficiency New Brunswick”

The Auditor General found that investments in energy efficiency programs for New Brunswick households experiencing energy poverty were two times less than Nova Scotia and six times less than PEI, both of whom use independent agencies to deliver on the energy saving commitments of their respective governments.

"Given that the Auditor General found that reducing energy poverty, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating green jobs are not the goals of NB Power’s energy efficiency programs, it is time that the responsibility for energy savings programs be returned to an independent agency like Efficiency New Brunswick,” said Coon.