NB Power Embraces Demand Management Over New Supply
NB Power, the Crown utility that provides most of New Brunswick’s electricity, will spend close to $65 million over the next three years to reduce and reschedule energy demand in the province, saving over 150GWh per year by 2017 and avoiding nearly 70,000 tons of GHG emissions from the utility’s thermal generating plants.
The demand-side management (DSM) proposal follows a trend that investigators say can lower both consumer prices and greenhouse emissions. In 2014, New York’s Consolidated Edison opted to spend $200 million on demand management rather than build a new $1-billion substation.
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NB Power forecasts that its plans to include ‘smart’ electric meters that permit time-based consumer pricing, devices such as smart thermostats for baseboard electric heaters, and “fast demand response” measures engaging commercial and industrial customers, will return benefits four times their cost to consumers, and twice the cost for the utility.