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 .
The province is urging Nova Scotians to drive with care this spring as hundreds of volunteers work along highways during the 2012 Adopt-A-Highway program. The province co-ordinates the efforts of volunteers who pick up litter alongside roadways. Last year, 2,000 volunteers cleaned along 897 kilometres of highways and seven interchanges. They gathered 4,866 bags of garbage and recyclable material. “The official Adopt-A-Highway Day isn’t until Friday, May 4, but, with the good weather, volunteers are already out there making Nova Scotia look better,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks. “Please slow down and be extra cautious when travelling through clean-up zones.” “In a perfect world people wouldn’t throw litter on the highways, but nobody’s perfect and this job needs to be done,” said Gina Bain, co-ordinator, Adopt-A-Highway program. “Our volunteers are out there doing work that benefits all Nova Scotians and we want to make sure they’re safe.” Volunteers wear fluorescent safety vests, but they may be close to the road when picking up litter. Volunteers range from one person to service groups to families to co-workers. Adopt-A-Highway is an international roadside litter clean-up program. More information is available at www.gov.ns.ca/agri/wi/projects/adopt.shtml . read more