FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing more than $13.4 million this year in energy retrofits and renewable energy initiatives in public buildings.

“We know how important the economy, health care and education are to New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “By making our schools and hospitals more energy efficient, we will reduce operating costs, provide local construction jobs and protect the environment.”

Work includes lighting upgrades at schools, heating and ventilation work in more than 40 schools, and projects at a number of hospitals.

The initiatives include:

  • implementing energy management and upgrading controls
  • energy recovery systems for ventilation systems
  • demand side management for electricity
  • water conservation
  • lighting upgrades and retrofits
  • heat pump improvements
  • installation of wood pellet boilers

“I am proud our government increased investments under these programs from $300,000 in 2014-15 to more than $13.4 million this year,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser. “We are getting things done on behalf of New Brunswickers. These investments represent a serious commitment to energy conservation and to managing our public assets in a responsible way.

“We know that every dollar we spend today on projects like these saves us money down the road, addresses our energy consumption, and can improve the experience in public buildings. That is why we are committed to these projects as part of our infrastructure renewal efforts.”

The 2016-17 investment for retrofits and renewable energy initiatives built on the increased budget of $12.5 million in 2015-16. The continuous increase in investment has allowed for lighting upgrades at more than 200 schools, heating and ventilation work in more than 50 schools, and various projects at several hospitals.

These initiatives aim to reduce energy consumption, cut down on energy costs and lead to the adoption of more sustainable options.

In addition to energy retrofits and renewable energy initiatives in public buildings, the department has implemented several initiatives to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the government’s vehicle fleet. Transportation, construction and maintenance operations also apply energy efficiency technologies to lower energy consumption.