FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has followed through on its commitment to merge Efficiency NB with NB Power to help reduce energy consumption and lower costs for consumers. The move takes effect today.

“Our government’s top priorities are job creation, righting our financial situation and making life more affordable for families,” said Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault. “By merging the former Efficiency NB with NB Power, we will maximize energy efficiency for ratepayers and help create jobs in the construction industry through support for home renovations.”

As previously announced, a new energy efficiency unit will be established within NB Power to continue offering programs previously provided by Efficiency NB, including the Energy Smart Commercial Buildings Retrofit Program and NB Power’s Smart Habits rebate program. NB Power will also launch a home energy retrofit program in May.

In addition, the government will continue to help low-income households by funding the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program, which will also be delivered by NB Power.

The provincial government is also moving toward a ratepayer-based funding model with oversight provided by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board. This model will help lessen the burden on taxpayers, provide energy savings and support the government’s goal to ensure energy efficiency programs meet the needs of all customers and the utility over the long-term.

"We are happy to welcome the staff and expertise from the former Efficiency NB into NB Power,” said Gaëtan Thomas, president and CEO of NB Power. “We share a commitment to helping customers understand how we use electricity. By working with our customers now to save energy, our future grid will be greener and we will be able to keep rates low and stable by avoiding a billion dollars in costs during the next 25 years.”

Arseneault said the move will help strengthen the utility’s team and add a new layer of knowledge and thinking that will benefit New Brunswick ratepayers and businesses.

Each year, NB Power will demonstrate how their expenditures in energy efficiency help the utility maintain the lowest rates in Atlantic Canada and some of the most competitive in North America.