Changes to N.B.'s Electricity Act would allow communities to adopt renewable energy to meet needs

New Brunswick's Green Party wants to amend the province's Electricity Act to empower local municipal governments and First Nations communities to adopt renewable energy to meet their needs.

The changes to the Act, tabled on Tuesday, would:

  • Allow municipal and First Nation governments to create partnerships to with local renewable power producers;
  • Permit publicly-owned municipal distribution utilities in Saint John, Edmundston and Perth-Andover to secure electric power directly from local renewable power producers outside their municipal boundaries, where sites for community-based wind or solar farms might be more favourable;
  • Ensure NB Power is compensated for the use of their distribution lines by enabling them to charge a tariff for transmitting power from local renewable producers to municipal and First Nation customers.  

Green Party Leader David Coon says new Brunswick's ability to shrink its carbon footprint should not be held hostage by NB Power's reluctance to invest in renewable energy.

Coon says there would be no need for the bill if the utility were acting urgently to respond to the climate emergency by aggressively developing renewable power.