New Brunswick Smart Energy Communities Accelerator Pilot Program
New Brunswick communities put their climate energy plans into action with the support of QUEST Canada
Partnering and participating communities have successfully completed Stage 4 of their Smart Energy Community Accelerator journey. See the exciting Milestone update below!
Sept 21, 2022
March 31, 2022
Today, QUEST Canada announced a new milestone for communities participating in the New Brunswick Smart Energy Community Accelerator Pilot Program.
Nov. 15, 2021
SECA program aids New Brunswick communities in discussing and actioning community energy plans and has the potential to spread across the country.
April 21, 2021
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the New Brunswick Smart Energy Communities Accelerator Program (NB SECA Program), designed to accelerate economic development and greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts in ten communities, including one First Nation in New Brunswick.
About the Project
The purpose of the NB SECA Program is to establish a community energy planning accelerator to assist a series of New Brunswick communities and one First Nation by equipping them with the tools and knowledge to develop and implement community energy plans and understand the net economic benefit they can provide.
Program Services & Tools
Participants receive support to guide them through the implementation of a Smart Energy Community Accelerator Plan, which will include:
Monthly touchpoint meetings with QUEST and other participants team to support community energy literacy and share knowledge.
Community Energy Plan Webinars (development and implementation).
Access to a series of customized services and tools which will guide communities to either develop or advance their community energy plans.
New Brunswick Pilot Communities
Town of Florenceville-Bristol
Located in western New Brunswick, the Town of Florenceville-Bristol is located on the Saint John River and is part of Carleton County. With a population of 1,604 as of the 2016 census, Florenceville-Bristol is a rural community that has a rich agriculture heritage. The Town hosts corporate headquarters of McCain Foods, the largest producer of French fries in the world and for that reason, the Town is known as “The French Fry Capital of the World”.
Florenceville-Bristol has an average temperature of 11.5 degrees Celsius and reaches record lows of -37.8 degrees Celsius in winter months and 35.0 degrees Celsius in summer months. Florenceville-Bristol receives approximately 1,100mm of precipitation per year and experiences all 4 seasons. During spring months, flooding can occur along the Saint John River in low laying areas.
The Town aims to reduce their corporate greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2027 from 2017 levels and their community greenhouse gas emission 10% by 2027 from 2017 levels. This will be done through a number of actions such as building retrofits, streetlight LED light bulb conversion and water conservation. Overall, the Town of Florenceville-Bristol is taking the correct steps to decrease their greenhouse gas emission, costs and increase the health of all its citizens.
Town of Oromocto
The Town of Oromocto is located in the Greater Fredericton Area of New Brunswick. The population within the town boundaries is 9,223 residents, based on the 2016 census. Oromocto is known as the knowledge industry of New Brunswick and major employers include the Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, one of the largest military training centres in the Commonwealth. Oromocto is also home to the Oromocto First Nation.
Village of Perth-Andover
The Village of Perth-Andover was formed in 1967 from the amalgamation of the two former communities of Perth and Andover, both located on opposite sides of the Saint John River. It is located in Victoria County, in western New Brunswick and is in close proximity to Tobique First Nation. The Village has a population of approximately 1,590 and is a service centre for the community and surrounding area within a 30 km radius in southern Victoria County, which expands its services to 4,000 people. The community is located in close proximity to the Trans Canada Highway, which has allowed it to develop an Industrial Park. It is also 10 km from the US border.
Town of Quispamsis
The Town of Quispamsis is located in the Kennebecasis Valley in the southwestern New Brunswick, 22 km north of the City of Saint John. Quispamsis is located on the banks of the Kennebecasis and Hammond rivers and has a lake, Ritchie Lake, in the city center. The Town of Sussex is 45 minutes away and Moncton and Fredericton are 1 hour 30 minutes from Quispamsis.
The population of Quispamsis in 2016 was 18,245 inhabitants spread over an area of 57.21km², a density of 318.9 hab./km². The Municipality had 6,596 private dwellings in 2016, of which 6,455 were occupied by full time residents. 57% of dwellings were built before 1991. Quispamsis is the sixth-largest municipality in New Brunswick.
Quispamsis, and the four other regional municipalities — Rothesay, Grand Bay-Westfield, St. Martins, and Saint John — and area private sector investors have given Enterprise Saint John the mandate to be the backbone organization for the region’s integrated economic development strategy — True Growth.
In 2017, MoneySence named Quispamsis the best place to live in Atlantic Canada.
Town of Sussex
Sussex is a town in Kings County with a population of 4,282 (2016). Sussex is located in south-central New Brunswick, between the province’s three largest cities, Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. As the heart of Kings County with its 16 covered bridges, Sussex is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of Atlantic Canada.
Today, Sussex is primarily a regional service centre for the surrounding agricultural communities of the upper Kennebecasis River valley. The town is a highway service centre on Route 1, the primary highway between Moncton and Saint John, as well as being the most heavily travelled route in the Maritimes to the United States.
Since 2003, natural gas has been available from the McCully field near Sussex. The potential local natural gas supply and the energy opportunities resulting from the recently closed Potash Company of Canada mine both support the goals of the town’s Community Energy Plan and its economic development objectives.
Town of Saint Andrews
The Town of Saint Andrews is a town located in Charlotte County along Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick. It has a population of 1,786 residents. The Town’s Historic District is a National Historic Site of Canada as it has retained much of its 18th-century character. The Town is also referred to as St. Andrews-by-the-Sea and is known to the Passamaquoddy First Peoples as Qua-nos-cumcook.
St. Mary’s First Nation
Sitansisk is one of six communities that make up the Wolastoqiyik Nation. Sitansisk is a vital part of New Brunswick’s Capital City of Fredericton and is located next to the Wolastoq (also known as the Saint John River) on approximately 125.8 plus one hectares of land; a mere fraction of the Wolastoqiyik traditional unceded ancestral territory. Sitansisk is an urban community governed by a Chief and Council and is the largest employer on the North side of the City and has a population of 1987 members: with half living on and half living off the community. Sitansisk is in the process of completing a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory but does not have a community energy plan. Participation in the NB SECA Program will allow the community to both develop and lay the groundwork for community energy plan implementation.
Town of St. Stephen
The Town of St. Stephen is located in Charlotte County along the St. Croix River, and has a population of 4,415 residents. It is within close proximity to the U.S. border as well as Saint John and Fredericton. The Town is also known as Canada’s Chocolate Town due to its chocolate heritage from the Ganong Brothers who started a grocery store in 1873 that eventually became a chocolate corporation.
Town of Woodstock
The Town of Woodstock is located 100 km’s west of the Capital City, Fredericton; 300 km west of Nova Scotia Border; 200 km east from the Quebec Border and 25 km’s from State of Maine Border. Settled on the banks of the Meduxnekeag and St. John Rivers at the intersection of the Trans Canada Highway at Exits 185 and 188, and I-95 at Exit 12. Woodstock was the first incorporated town in New Brunswick on May 1, 1856. Woodstock boasts some of the finest 19th Century Victorian heritage homes, churches and civic buildings. We are a vibrant, prosperous community -the service centre of the Upper St. John River Valley. As well, the retail and commercial hub of the agricultural, forestry and transportation sectors in the regional economy.
Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick partner communities
Five partner communities, through partnership with the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick, are participating in the NB SECA Program.
Village de Cap-Pelé
Bercé par la mer, Cap-Pelé vibre au rythme d’une communauté dynamique et accueillante, fière de ses racines acadiennes et ouverte sur le monde. Découvrez un endroit où il fait bon vivre et s’épanouir. Un endroit qui regorge d’opportunités à saisir, de projets de vie à réaliser. Ici et nulle part ailleurs. Cap-Pelé, votre destination.
Village of Nigadoo
Nigadoo est un village pittoresque situé entre Beresford et Petit-Rocher, à tout juste 9 km de Bathurst. Bien avant l’arrivée des Acadiens dans la région, les Mi’kmaq avaient découvert l’abri naturel qu’offraient les berges de la rivière et avaient nommé l’endroit Nigadoo, qui signifierait cachette ou refuge en langue autochtone.
Le village, qui a été incorporé en 1967, compte aujourd’hui près de 1 000 habitants. C’est un endroit à caractère résidentiel et touristique où il fait bon vivre. Vous y trouverez la plupart des services habituellement offerts dans les grands centres, tels que camping, parc d’attraction, marché de poissons, motel, artisanat, antiquités et restaurants gastronomiques. La rivière de Nigadoo est un joli site où il fait bon se baigner et pêcher. On retrouve le long de celle-ci, dans le parc du Vieux Moulin, les ruines d’un moulin datant du 19e siècle.
Communauté Rurale de Saint-André
Saint-André vous invite, petits et grands, à venir vous amuser et découvrir le dynamisme de sa communauté où l’agriculture est à la base de son économie.
Pour votre plus grand bonheur, venez respirer l’air pur des espaces naturels et admirer les paysages de cette charmante campagne.
Saint-André est un site enchanteur où l’on y découvre de nombreux trésors…Une magnifique église centenaire érigée au milieu de la communauté, des champs de pommes de terre à couper le souffle sans oublier le plus petit pont couvert du monde. Voilà quelques-unes des particularités propres de cette région.
Prendre le temps de s’arrêter, s’évader du quotidien et se laisser séduire par le charme particulier de Saint-André, voilà un endroit qui saura éveiller tous vos sens!
Village de Saint-Isidore
Le village est situé entre Bathurst et Tracadie-Sheila, le long de la route 160. L’économie de la communauté gravite autour d’une variété d’entreprises de vente, de fabrication et de construction.
Stage 2 Achievements
1. The Smart Energy Communities Benchmark
The Benchmark is a tool that measures where a community stands relative to Canadian best practices and enables the communities to discover where they are making headway on becoming a Smart Energy Community and where opportunities remain. This is an important first step in a community’s Smart Energy journey and allows them to track their progress and growth over time. Look for all of the community assessment results to be posted soon.
2. The Energy Conscious Community: An Energy Course for Planning Professionals
Municipal staff and local planning personnel working to complete The Energy Conscious Community: An Energy Course for Planning Professionals, developed and delivered by York University in partnership with QUEST Canada. This course supports professional planners to understand and deliver on their central role of integrating local, renewable and conventional energy sources into their communities.
3. Webinar Training Series on Community Energy Resources
Participating community staff and local stakeholders are participating in an ongoing educational webinar series to provide a comprehensive set of community energy resources, tools and strategies.
Stage 3 Achievements
1. Community Energy Mapping
During the community energy mapping, interactive exercises engaged diverse local participants in each community to identify strengths and opportunities for energy efficiency, clean energy, transportation, land use and water and waste — using an interactive Map. Results have been used to inform the planning and development of their individual community energy plans.
2. Participatory Renewable Energy Assessment
The participatory renewable energy assessment included a full technical analysis of local renewable energy potential — such as wind, solar, PV, biomass, and more — for utility or community scale applications. This also included an analysis of the social acceptability of siting options for these installations. The purpose being to inform the development planning of clean energy resources in the community.
Stage 4 Achievements
1. Community Energy Planning
- Community Energy Plan Development workshops utilized interactive exercises that engaged diverse local participants in each community to develop energy and emissions targets and prioritize corresponding action strategies to achieve them.
- The results have been used to inform the development of their local Community Energy Action Plans.
Completed July 2022
2. Economic Analysis
Several of the participating communities underwent a thorough economic analysis of their chosen action strategies, in order to better understand the potential economic impacts the implementation of their plans will have on their local economy.
Completed July 2022
3. Community Energy Implementation
- The Community Energy Plan Implementation Frameworks were developed via workshops that utilized interactive exercises that engaged diverse local participants in each community to develop implementation strategies for the actions developed in their local plans.
- These frameworks are PCP Milestone compliant and provide communities with the necessary key governance and strategic frameworks for successful local plan implementation.
Completed Sept 2022
Participating and partnering communities will undergo a Re-Benchmarking evaluation process to document and celebrate the great progress they have made during their participation in the NB SECA program. Updated Benchmark scores will be shared publicly in early 2023!
Stage 5 Milestone Update: Coming February 2023
The objectives of the NB SECA Program are:
Enhanced and ongoing knowledge sharing and support around community energy planning for 14 New Brunswick communities, including one First Nation.
The development and implementation of tailored Accelerator plans and Summary Reports to help NB SECA participants assess their current achievements and next steps related to community energy planning.
Case Studies to assess the economic impact of elements of Community Energy Plans, and a report that uses these case studies to extrapolate the impact of implementing all CEPs in New Brunswick to help inform the province’s economic recovery strategy post-COVID.
Lessons learned and results that can be shared with interested stakeholders both regionally and nationally.
A refined Smart Energy Community Accelerator program that can be rolled out to other communities across Canada.
NB SECA Communities In the News
QUEST Canada Helps Saint Andrews, St. Stephen Find Smart-Energy Solutions For Their Environments And Economies
Huddle, April 4, 2022
Read the article
Communities Pass Halfway Mark in the New Brunswick Smart Energy Community Accelerator Program
News Release, March 31, 2022
Read the news release
Creating Smart Energy Communities in Atlantic Canada
Blog by NB Power and Nova Scotia Power, March 10, 2022
Read the article
Dodging the Peak: Smart grid to cut carbon and incorporate renewables
Environmental Journal by Zack Metcalf, February 14, 2022
Read the article
Sussex Partners with QUEST To Create Lower-Cost Renewable Energy
Huddle, September 21, 2021
Read the article
New Brunswick’s Smart Energy Community Accelerator Communities Enter a New Phase
News Release, Nov. 15, 2022
Read the news release
This program was made possible by support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Énergie NB Power, Stantec, the Suncor Energy Foundation, and New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund.
QUEST conducts and packages cutting edge applied research to empower practitioners and decision makers with the tools they need to advance Smart Energy Communities. Find out more about our projects:
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