Nova Scotia's Local Energy Efficiency Businesses Are Thriving

HALIFAX – Gordon Inkpen is proud to count himself among the thousands of Nova Scotians working in the energy efficiency sector. And, thanks to good policy, he’s busier than ever.

“Just look at what’s happening today — we’re being held more accountable for our carbon footprint. There is no more hiding from it — and the data doesn’t lie. We need to build buildings and install lighting differently and consume less power and water.”

When it comes to energy efficiency policies and programs to support Inkpen’s work, Nova Scotia checks quite a few boxes. So says the head of a national think tank that is currently putting the finishing touches on Canada’s first province-by-province comparison of energy use reduction policies.

Canada’s seventh most populous province established Efficiency Nova Scotia in 2009, the nation’s first dedicated energy efficiency utility. The organization is seriously invested in industry training and capacity building, and has implemented policies to gradually replace the thousands of inefficient and polluting fuel-oil home furnaces across the province with cleaner alternatives.

Nova Scotia is kind of a textbook case for how a small province can become a conservation leader and build a healthy energy-efficiency sector from the ground up,” said Corey Diamond, executive director of Efficiency Canada.

“The province was first out of the gate with an efficiency utility, and has trained legions of energy-efficiency professionals — those who plan and perform building-performance upgrades — to a degree rivaling more populous provinces,” Diamond added.

All of these things and more are driving a robust energy-efficiency economy that employs thousands, which is what caught the attention of Efficiency Canada.

Inkpen, a Dartmouth-based Business Development Manager with Emco Corporation — a firm that distributes products for the construction sector, including heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment — sees an opportunity not just for businesses, but for customers.

“There’s a huge opportunity to help people understand how to integrate high-efficiency HVAC equipment, such as heat pumps and heat-recovery ventilators, into buildings,” he says. “I like seeing the light go on for customers, where they go ‘Oh wow! I never considered that!’ I like that moment when they see an opportunity they never knew was possible,” he adds.

Later this year, Efficiency Canada will publish a comprehensive report card that will assess the energy-efficiency policies of all provinces and territories. Subscribe here for updates.

About Efficiency Canada: Efficiency Canada is the national voice for an energy efficient economy. Our mission is to create a sustainable environment and better life for all Canadians by making our country a global leader in energy efficiency policy, technology, and jobs. We conduct rigorous policy analysis; communicate compelling narratives; and convene and mobilize Canada’s dynamic energy efficiency sector. Efficiency Canada is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre.


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