A new, independent administrator for programs to help cut electricity consumption and reduce peak demand will be created as recommended in a Dalhousie University report. The report recommends creating an independent entity for electricity demand side management, reporting to a board of directors, and overseen by the Utility and Review Board (UARB). The new administrator is expected to be in place before the end of next year. Required legislation changes are scheduled for the spring. David Wheeler, dean of Dalhousie University’s faculty of management, led a consultation this past spring to determine who should administer programs to help cut electricity consumption and reduce peak demand. “Energy experts agree that energy efficiency and conservation are key to keeping electricity affordable for Nova Scotians,” said Richard Hurlburt, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia. “Demand side management programs will help consumers manage their electricity costs and protect them from higher electricity rates.” The UARB approved electricity demand side management expenditures of $3.2 million this year and $9.7 million in 2009. The UARB also determined that costs would be recovered from rate payers, starting in 2009. The costs represent about 0.2 per cent of the recently approved 9.3 per cent electricity rate increase. The UARB also approved Nova Scotia Power as the interim administrator. Four electricity demand side management programs started this past summer, including direct-install lighting for small business, housing-efficiency upgrades for low-income families, a commercial and industrial custom program and an efficient-lighting products awareness campaign. Conserve Nova Scotia will continue to deliver energy efficiency and conservation programs, refocusing its efforts on fuels other than electricity. A copy of the Dalhousie report is available on-line at www.conservens.ca/publicconsultations .
Torstar to lay off 30 employees as it shutters Star Touch app July 31 by Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 26, 2017 3:49 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 27, 2017 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Toronto Star is laying off 30 employees as it shutters its Star Touch tablet app — a multi-million dollar bet on bringing in younger readership that failed to meet management expectations.Twenty-nine full-time employees and one part-timer have been notified that they will lose their jobs, said Toronto Star spokesman Bob Hepburn. Some of those employees will continue to work for a while longer and some may be able to stay with the company if they choose to act on a bumping provision contained in their contracts, he said.The tablet-only app will be replaced by one for smartphones as well as tablets, Hepburn said. The so-called universal app will be available to readers before the end of July, while the Star Touch’s latest edition will run on July 31.Torstar CEO and Toronto Star publisher John Boynton hinted that the app might be on the chopping block in a May interview as the media company, like others in the industry, battles declines in print advertising revenue and weaker-than-desired digital ad revenue.Boynton, who took over as Torstar CEO (TSX:TS.B) in March, sent a memo to staff Monday saying the decision comes after an in-depth review of digital options for mobile devices and tablets.He called Star Touch an editorial success with a loyal audience — but one that was too small.“The overall numbers of readers and advertising volumes are significantly lower than what the company had forecast and than what are required to make it a commercial success,” he said, adding the company is “obviously disappointed” with the app’s financial results.Torstar launched the app in September 2015 and invested more than $20 million in the venture.The company’s digital team is developing the new app, Boynton said, highlighting that going from three apps — a tablet, mobile and PDF — to two will be less costly.Unifor, the union representing 17 of the laid off employees, worked with the company to get the soon-to-be shelved app going, said Jim Rankin, chair of the union’s Toronto Star unit.“We were hoping that this would be one of those models that would help the business continue to support the journalism,” he said.“It’s just sad that … it’ll be history.”The union doesn’t have details on whether the new app will require any additional staff, but plans to talk to the company about any opportunities there for its members, Rankin said.———Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more