FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has appointed three full-time members to the Energy and Utilities Board in keeping with a commitment in its Energy Blueprint, released in October 2011.

"Appointing these members will give the Energy and Utilities Board a full complement of individuals who can deal with the important issues before the board,” said Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard. “This includes the re-integration of NB Power, a review of New Brunswick petroleum pricing model and issues related to natural gas distribution.”              

The board comprises five full-time members under its new structure as opposed to two full-time members and eight part-time members under its former structure.

Following are biographies of the new members:

Michael Costello:
An executive with more than 30 years’ experience, Costello spent many years with Bell Aliant as vice-president in the sectors of customer service and operations; operations and infrastructure; consulting services and support, partnering and process improvement, business systems and network operations.

John Herron:
Herron has been president of the Atlantic Centre for Energy for the past five years. He was the MP for Fundy Royal from 1997 to 2004. He had also been manager of business development at Aliant Telecom Inc. and a project manager of the Hibernia Offshore top-up phase.

Patrick Ervin:
Ervin is a former director of mining and petroleum policy and regulation with the Department of Energy and Mines. He also has extensive experience in pipelines and natural gas issues and legislation regulating those sectors. A lawyer by profession, Ervin was senior counsel for Aliant Inc.; chief legal counsel for Xwave Solutions Inc.; and an associate/partner with Clarke Drummie, Barristers and Solicitors. He was a commissioned officer with the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves for nearly 20 years.

The board provides regulatory oversight of the transmission and distribution of electricity, natural gas distribution, pipelines and the motor coach industry. It also administers the weekly price regulation of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and furnace oil. It undertakes occasional reviews of industry margins. Funding for the board comes entirely from assessments charged to the utilities it regulates.