MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing more than $20 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 Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “By making our schools and hospitals more energy efficient, we will reduce operating costs, provide local construction jobs and protect the environment.”

Rogers spoke on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser.

Work includes lighting upgrades at schools, as well as heating and ventilation work. There will also be energy efficiency projects at several 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

“These investments represent a serious commitment to energy conservation and to managing our public assets in a responsible way,” said Rogers. “We know that every dollar we spend today on energy efficiency saves us money in the long term. We are listening to New Brunswickers, and we are getting things done.”

The 2017-18 investment for retrofits and renewable energy initiatives builds on the increased budget of $13.4 million last year and $13.3 million in 2015-16. This 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 other government buildings such as hospitals, office buildings and garages.

These initiatives aim to reduce energy consumption, cut down on energy costs and lead to the adoption of more sustainable options. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has also implemented several initiatives to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the government’s vehicle fleet.