June 17 2022, 10:03 AM
NB Power’s Energizing Efficiency Conference made a strong comeback last week, after a three-year hiatus due to pandemic restrictions.
The 2022 event took place June 7 and 8 at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. More than 280 people attended the conference and dinner, representing diverse business sectors, organizations and education centers.
From municipal utilities to efficiency service organizations and technology firms to not-for-profits, it was a great mix of participants, leading to exciting conversations and ideas.
Here are our top three takeaways from the conference:
Our conference was the first large in-person event in a long time for many attendees. There was a genuine sense of excitement about being together in the same room, instead of a virtual meeting like many are now used to. There were countless opportunities for networking; some attendees met for the first time, while others had the chance to reconnect and catch up after years apart.
Beyond the typical exchange of business cards and handshakes, we also saw lots of digital connections made through our conference app and LinkedIn.
One attendee shared that the first morning of the conference felt like the first day of school, with everyone trying to remember social etiquette after a long break. Those who had first day jitters quickly shook the feeling as they settled into a full agenda of keynotes and breakout sessions.
The calibre of presenters and the information they shared was top-notch. Several attendees said the Energizing Efficiency Conference was on par or better than any they’ve attended.
There was something for everyone, with a full agenda to allow you to tailor your experience to your knowledge and interests. There were two keynotes: The Future of Transportation in Canada by Nino Di Cara, President and Founder, Electric Autonomy Canada, and Energizing Efficiency by Embracing Your Inner Sales Professional by Mark Jewell, President, Selling Energy.
Throughout the two-day event, knowledgeable experts shared their learnings and perspectives on topics from helping low income homeowners to building code developments, and from First Nations sustainable building projects to managing HVAC systems.
A common theme throughout the sessions focused on the many reasons for people to care about energy efficiency, including climate change, cost-savings, comfort, productivity, safety and demonstrating environmental leadership.
Electric vehicles were also a topic on everyone’s mind, with a Tesla parked in the tradeshow hall and test drives offered to attendees through our EV Test Drive Tour with Plug’n Drive.
The most thrilling takeaway is the collaboration between everyone at the conference. You could see the “AHA” moments happening throughout the convention centre as individuals came together and recognized how they could work together to fulfill common goals.
People left sessions feeling inspired and bubbling over with excitement about how to take what they had learned and the connections they had made back to their organizations to be able to help even more New Brunswickers.
Ideas for projects and research came to light even during the question-and-answer portions of presentations, showing that putting the right people together can result in amazing things.
Tracey Somers, our Conference Lead, was thrilled by the feedback from attendees.
“To be able to offer a first-class conference experience here in New Brunswick makes us incredibly proud,” Tracey said. “Bringing together energy and community leaders to network and learn and ultimately, help New Brunswickers save energy, help the environment and drive our economy, is really what the conference is all about.”
Plans are already underway for the 2023 conference. Connect with us if you have topic or speaker ideas.
A special thank you to our conference sponsors:
Conference App Sponsor
January 21 2022, 10:19 AM
With extremely cold temperatures across the province last week, we asked everyone to reduce their energy consumption to help New Brunswick Beat the Peak.
And it worked!
Peak electricity demand happens in the morning from 6 until 9, and in the afternoon from 4 until 8, when most families begin and wind down their days.
Thanks to the many customers who made small changes to reduce or delay energy use during peak demand periods, we reduced the need to use the most carbon-based energy to power New Brunswick during the cold snap.
Here’s how high in-province demand peaked last week:
January 11, 8-9 a.m. - 3,028 megawatts (MW)
January 11, 6-7 p.m. - 2,936 MW
January 12, 8-9 a.m. - 3,177 MW (second highest demand of all-time!)
The record for peak electricity demand in New Brunswick happened in January 2004, at 3,326 MW in the morning. For comparison, we only need about 1,500 MW to meet the needs of customers on a typical summer morning.
It’s our job to meet New Brunswickers’ energy needs all year-long and we had an opportunity to reduce the need for the most expensive energy. It was important for us to do our part, so early last week, many of our employees took steps to be ready for the peak periods.
- Teams identified and implemented energy savings at NB Power generating stations and offices to reduce our own consumption. These actions included lowering temperatures in unoccupied spaces and delaying the operation of some of our equipment in our plants.
- Generation employees readied and tested our reserve combustion turbine energy sources at Millbank, Ste. Rose and Grand Manan so they’d be ready if needed.
- We dispatched our Peak Rebate Program, where 50 commercial and industrial customers who have signed up to work with us on peak demand through the winter months take action to reduce energy use for two-hour periods.
- Our Key Account Specialists reached out to dozens of business customers who represent much of the energy use in the province. Most business owners and managers said that they appreciated the heads up and chance to make changes that would help them manage energy costs as well.
- We partnered with municipal electric utilities in the province, including Saint John Energy who issued its own Shave the Peak alerts for their customers.
- We shared information with New Brunswickers on social media, by email and on local radio stations to encourage everyone to join the effort.
Jean Marc Landry, NB Power’s Chief Customer Officer, is energized by New Brunswickers’ enthusiasm and interest in beating the peak. Many energy companies engage customers to help manage peak demand events in North America.
“It was great to hear how receptive our business customers were to making adjustments to their operations for a couple of days,” said Jean Marc. “They recognized that saving energy would not only help the province, but their bottom lines.”
Since this was the first time in years that NB Power asked customers to help Beat the Peak for specific dates, there were lots of discussions and questions.
“We recognize that this is a difficult time for many New Brunswickers, especially with so many working and learning from home,” said Jean Marc. “Thank you to all customers who made a small change to their routines to help lower overall demand of electricity during the morning and early evening periods. Together, we were able to avoid using the most expensive and least environmentally sustainable energy sources, which benefits the whole province.”
Thankfully, cold snaps like the one experienced last week are temporary, and so are our requests for New Brunswickers to use less power. But saving energy is always a good thing to do, for managing your power bill and helping the environment.
Thank you, New Brunswick!