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 .