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Energy Efficiency

With an independent, ratepayer-funded efficiency utility, Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation (ENSC) is a leader in energy efficiency in Canada. The International Energy Agency recommends that all jurisdictions seek to establish similar efficiency utilities. 

The goal is that energy efficiency competes with other supply alternatives to provide cost-effective options to consumers. The status of efficiency utilities as ratepayer funded gives consumers a measure of accountability. 

Building Retrofits

Building Retrofits

40 percent of Nova Scotians experience energy poverty.

The lack of energy security is a real issue in Nova Scotia. Low-income families, often housed in older, energy inefficient apartments and multi-unit dwellings, have to make monthly decisions on paying electricity bills or buying food and medicine. Others bear the cost of poor insulation and air quality with higher-than-normal heating bills which impact already razor-thin household budgets.  

How we live is as important as where. 

With funding from HCi3, the EAC worked with Vida Living, Zzap Architecture & Planning, and RDH Building Science to study the potential and impacts of an Energiesprong project in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Sean Kelly Consulting added national context to the study, looking at what has been done and what is in progress elsewhere. Our toolkit and study will help others interested in this method assess and better understand the economics and energy-savings potential of this method. Find the Panelized Retrofit Toolkit here and more resources below:

What WHERE-NS stands for: 

Whole: An integrated approach that considers the whole view of energy efficiency. It combines the experience and knowledge of owners, tenants, energy modelers, designers, builders, architects, engineers, and funders. 

Housing: Multi Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) provide homes to a significant number of families and individuals living in energy poverty across the province. The study will focus on two MURBs, one each in HRM and CBRM. 

Energy: Energy efficiency is the beginning of energy security. This means both looking at ways to reduce energy use through building upgrades and introducing infrastructure to support renewable energy use, such as solar. 

Retrofit: Deep Energy Retrofits (DER) significantly change the energy appetite of a building. One-time upgrades to the building’s exterior are combined with mechanical system improvements. DER avoids the need for future renovations and immediately lowers energy costs for owners and tenants. 

Envelope: Efficient buildings retain heat in winter, promote cooling in summer, and guard against moisture. The retrofit uses modular panel technology, built off site, and installed on site with minimal disruption to occupants. 

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia is a leader in energy efficiency, but we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to keep Nova Scotia on a pathway to stay below 1.5 C of warming. Half of the province’s MURB housing stock was built pre-1970. Scaling up retrofits will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support a just recovery, and address energy security. 

Retrofits aren't just for residential buildings. In the video below, Ben Grieder, energy efficient expert, discusses how to improve energy efficiency in faith buildings, access financial supports and build community in the process. 

Faithful Footprints

Faithful Footprints

Administered by the EAC, Faithful Footprints is a program offering United Church of Canada congregations in the Atlantic region ideas, tools, and grants to help reduce their carbon pollution.   

The program is part of a larger Church commitment to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, which is in line with the Paris Climate Target. With the goal of practicing what they preach, Church leadership recognized that becoming a credible climate change leader meant looking inward first. As a result, the initial focus will be on buildings owned by the Church itself.  

Free Energy Audits for Faith Buildings

Free Energy Audits for Faith Buildings

A graphic with information about Free Energy Audits for Faith Buildings

Faith groups have identified a need for energy audits of their buildings as an important first step in retrofitting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Ecology Action Centre is offering 30+ free energy audits for faith buildings across Nova Scotia. Energy audits are on a first come, first served basis. We will do our best to accommodate a diversity of faiths and geographic locations within the program's capacity. 

Please fill out the form below to sign up for the program. We will reach out to set up a time for your energy audit.

Sign up here!

Culture of Efficiency

Culture of Efficiency 

Culture of Efficiency is a province-wide movement to build understanding surrounding the benefits of performing deep energy retrofits. Property owners and building professionals are encouraged to explore opportunities to better manage energy consumption. In doing so, efforts are made to reduce emissions, lower property operating costs, and streamline energy efficient building practices.  

Ensuring that all Nova Scotians have access to resources and funding to improve energy efficiency and perform such comprehensive retrofits will move us all toward a clean energy future without leaving anyone behind. 

To learn more about energy efficiency and stay current on upcoming workshops and events, consider subscribing to the Culture of Efficiency Newsletter using the webform below!

Better Building Speaker Series

Better Building Speaker Series

The Better Building Speaker Series is a monthly webinar where individuals interested in learning more about sustainable buildings can hear from experts in the energy efficiency sector. These webinars feature presentations that share how we can work together to create energy efficient, resilient building infrastructure. 

Click here for more info and a list of upcoming sessions for the Better Building Speaker Series. Check back regularly for more. 

A Way Forward: A Made-In-Nova Scotia Home Energy Affordability Program

A Way Forward: A Made-In-Nova Scotia Home Energy Affordability Program

The Nova Scotia Energy Poverty Task Force (NSEPTF) formed in 2023 with the mandate of examining more systematic solutions to Nova Scotia’s energy poverty crisis, where nearly half of Nova Scotians are struggling to pay their electricity and heating bills. The NSPTF is made up of the Ecology Action Centre, Nova Scotia Power, Efficiency Nova Scotia, the Town of Bridgewater, Clean Foundation, Affordable Energy Coalition, Consumer Advocate, Kate Ervine (SMU), Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, Department of Community Services, Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Nova Scotia Oil Heat Association and The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. 

The NSEPTF commissioned a report from utility affordability expert Roger Colton, who has more than 40 years of experience in over 40 jurisdictions across North America. Colton studied Nova Scotia's energy affordability situation and proposes a tailor-made program to slash energy poverty rates in A Way Forward: A Made-in-Nova Scotia Home Energy Affordability Program, released in May 2024.

The report recommends a four-part solution to apply a discount to home energy bills, fund a more realistic payment and forgiveness system for those in debt from energy bills, expand funding for when households face unexpected emergencies and increase home energy efficiency upgrades for low- and moderate-income households. 

Read the full A Way Forward reportexecutive summary of the report and an infographic of its key findings here. A French version of the executive summary can be viewed here.

Read a short report on the NSEPTF's mandate and work here.

Watch Brian Gifford and Roger Colton present the report:


Sign up for the Culture of Efficiency Newsletter

Are you ready to get energized with news from across Nova Scotia about energy efficiency? The Culture of Efficiency Newsletter is a communication tool used to help people understand all the latest innovations, programs and stories of inspiration that related to energy efficiency. Any new federal, provincial or municipal energy efficiency program that is announced to the public will most likely be featured in this newsletter.

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