Improvements to Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Business Energy Solutions program will allow for greater transparency, consistency and fairness in the marketplace.
Efficiency Nova Scotia agreed to accelerate plans to change the program following a review conducted by the Department of Energy this spring.
The program helps small and medium-sized businesses with the cost of developing customized energy efficiency plans for their operations, and offers rebates to help pay for upgrades. Government received complaints by two Nova Scotia LED lighting supply companies about high incentives, unfair pricing and unfair practices.
The department’s review found that the program met its performance standards, however, its delivery model and the use of discounts as high as 100 per cent, made it impossible for local supply companies to compete on price.
Efficiency Nova Scotia will accelerate its plans to make significant changes to the Business Energy Solutions program by Aug. 1.
Changes to the program include:
— delivery agents will no longer be used. Energy audits will be conducted by small-business energy auditors, contracted by Efficiency Nova Scotia through a publicly tendered process. Auditors will not sell products to program participants
— businesses have two options to complete energy upgrades, including a do-it-yourself approach or with the auditor coordinating upgrade projects
— businesses can choose from a list of qualified contractors published on the Efficiency Nova Scotia website to complete upgrades
— the incentive package has been redesigned so that all contractors have access to the same rebates.
In three months, the department will follow up with Efficiency Nova Scotia and industry to ensure these changes have been implemented.
The Review of Incentives and Competition report is available at www.novascotia.ca/energy .