Please see, attached a below, a information regarding the release of a video documenting what’s at stake if EfficiencyOne’s budget is cut.
CATHERINE ABREU, Energy Coordinator
2705 Fern Lane, Halifax, NS, B3K 4L3
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Video Documents What Is Threatened by Efficiency Budget Cuts
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX), Nova Scotia (June 5, 2015) – A video profiling stakeholders in Nova Scotia’s burgeoning efficiency industry is encouraging Nova Scotians to defend EfficiencyOne (E1), the province’s award-winning energy efficiency agency, against damaging budget cuts that would threaten jobs and stall progress toward a clean energy future.
powerWHYS produced the piece as the first of a series of video blogs that will highlight some of the impressive transformations underway in Nova Scotia’s electricity and energy sectors. Megan McCarthy, CEO of powerWHYS, felt it was necessary to put a spotlight on what is at stake if E1 suffers the 46% budget cut currently proposed to the Utility and Review Board (UARB).
“Here in Nova Scotia, we have Canada’s only government-mandated efficiency utility, something we can be so proud of,” McCarthy explains in the video. “You can’t ignore the importance of this with 1200 people around the province being employed in the efficiency industry, a lot of them young people.”
Debra Ross with the Dalhousie College of Sustainability speaks to the evolution of education programs in Nova Scotia whose graduates have been able to find work in the efficiency industry right here in the province that educated them. “We are losing our lead [in efficiency],” warns Ross, “and students are having to leave to find employment elsewhere.”
“It’s like someone’s handing you a cheque every year forever when you do these [efficiency] retrofits,” says Rob MacNeish, a graduate of the College of Sustainability that is now helping the non-profit Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank take advantage of energy efficiency programs and lower their operation costs.
EAC Energy Coordinator Catherine Abreu is concerned that the proposed cuts to E1 would hit the residential sector hardest. If approved, the cut would reduce overall spending on residential efficiency programs by 70% and eliminate many residential programs altogether. “That would be such a shame,” explains Abreu, “because it’s really in that residential sector of programming that we’ve seen so many of the heartwarming stories of average Nova Scotians being able to save energy and lower their power bills.”
Such drastic cuts to residential efficiency programming would put hundreds of jobs at risk. Peter Rogers, Residential Energy Advisor, speaks in the video about how his work is threatened and why he believes efficiency is a worthwhile investment for Nova Scotia. “I feel like these programs are a win-win-win: it’s great for the environment, but even more importantly for many people, it’s great for their pocket books. It’s great for the province as a whole. Energy efficiency is the cheapest and easiest way to meet our energy demands.”
powerWHYS and those interviewed in the video encourage Nova Scotians to have their say in negotiations currently underway at the UARB. E1’s budget for the next three years will be determined through a hearing that commences June 15, 2015. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dAkHB8Uk7w&feature=youtu.be
CONTACT Catherine Abreu (EAC) / 902 412 8953 | Megan McCarthy (powerWHYS) / 902 403 4354