compare NB provincial party policies on NB Power

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This page is developing a table to let voters in the [1] New Brunswick general election, 2010 compare NB provincial party policies on NB Power and electric power and related communications network policies. Please read reframe:NB Power before reading this.

Please note that the vague phrase "sell NB Power" has been used to mean many things and should be avoided. See NB Power controversy, 2010 for the full confusing detail of this situation.

Some power grid terms:

  • HQ PPA = A long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hydro Quebec (HQ)
  • EEE 1st = Electrical energy efficiency first - refusing to subsidize generation or transmission until conservation and controls-based (demand side management) approaches are exhausted. Legislatively mandated process to compare any generation proposal with competing conservation proposals watt-for-watt as in Nova Scotia energy policy. Full cost accounting for cost to generate, transmit, distribute maintain and insure the power grid made transparent and available in this comparison.
  • higher rates = A willingness to let rates per kilowatt-hour rise for both consumers and businesses as part of a commitment to force users to pay the real costs of generation, transmission, distribution, maintenance and administration of electric power, to incent users of the power grid to reduce usage rather than waste electricity, and to cease adding to provincial debt.
    • rate split = a distraction that sets consumer and business interests against each other, an entirely invented regulatory concept - see reframe:NB Power for its use as a distraction
  • fossil phaseout = Commitment to eradicate coal and oil generating stations on a well publicized and feasible schedule.
  • nuclear phaseout = Commitment to decommission Point Lepreau on a well publicized and feasible schedule and build no further nuclear fission plants, from AECL or otherwise. Lepreau "is responsible for much of NB Power’s debt-load", according to the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, "Expensive repairs and financial losses from operating the nuclear power plant, its costly liabilities associated the radioactive waste it produces, and the expensive refurbishment are the cause of NB Power’s massive debt." Future investments in nuclear power will almost certainly have the same results.
  • smart grid = Commitment to enable communications between power users, generators and third party services to reduce overall load, peak load, co-generation and both worker and user safety. "Every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption." - goal 6 of the US National Broadband Plan [2]. This goal is enabled by the NIST smart grid standards
  • public right of way = Assertion of public ownership of all rights of way NB Power has acquired in its history and a lack of right to transfer or restrict this right in any agreement, e.g. with Aliant or others in the communications business; An open tariffed approach to permit access to poles, wires or facilities for any communications purposes; Clear assertion of the right of third parties to offer energy- and safety-related services to all NB Power consumers, including the right to use powerline networking.
  • connected community = Public rights of way should be exploited by government to ensure that "Every community should have affordable access to at least 1 Gbps broadband service to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals and government buildings" and "Every first responder should have access to a nationwide public safety wireless network." (goals 4 and 5 of the US National Broadband Plan.
  • broadband rights = Public rights of way should be exploited by several competing private parties, including access to physical wires for proven powerline networking technologies, to support "affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second" in urban areas (goal 1 of US National Broadband Plan specifies this level for about 1/3 of Americans), ensure that NB can "lead the world in mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive wireless networks" on the continent (goal 2), and that "affordable access to robust broadband service, and the means and skills to subscribe" is nearly universal (goal 3). Where incumbent providers do not provide service, communities must be able to invite and sponsor service providers willing to deploy new technology or custom solutions.
  • district utility = Commitment to build local economies and community self-reliance and resilience through public or local ownership of small-scale generating and reservoir and control/communications networks, delivering both power and data and administering 3rd party services. Not-for-profit, co-operative, or First Nations-owned enterprise favoured.
  • feed-in tariff = Direct cash incentives to generate renewable power, operate peak load balancing reservoirs or grid services - guaranteed prices for these that reflect the actual problems of the NB grid balancing problem and generate strategic expertise locally. As per the NDP-NB NB Power policy, "no less than two percent be provided by individual households, community owned generating facilities, and/or cooperatives" under this subsidy system.
  • generator tax credit == "A five-year 100% corporate tax exemption to corporations registered in New Brunswick engaged in the construction, renovation, or refurbishing of any new, or existing small and medium sized, green generating facility (with a generating capacity of 60MW or less) in New Brunswick, or any technology deemed by the GNB to support such facilities, including small producers working under the feed-in tariff regime;" per the NDP-NB NB Power policy
  • local natural gas = "Develop a system of decentralized, efficient cogeneration facilities to provide base load power and heating needs. After these measures, should a gap in base load capacity exist, a natural gas-powered generating station could be built." - [from the GPNB NB Power policy].
  • home heat: wood="shift heating to renewable fuels such as wood pellets and ensure electric heat is no longer used in new construction" - Conservation Council of New runswick; ground=favour geothermal heating which uses electricity but less than direct radiant electric heat; gas = favour natural gas / methane which may be biogas or locally extracted or imported LNG
  • EUB reform = "Strengthen EUB independent powers to design and regulate electricity rates to achieve the energy, environmental, economic and social goals of energy policy." - [from the GPNB NB Power policy].
  • industry subsidy = Business New Brunswick assistance industries affected by change. "Assistance to the pulp and paper industry should be contingent on industry restructuring given the need to adapt to global changes in that sector and to put the forest industry on an ecologically sustainable footing." - [from the GPNB NB Power policy].
  • business cap = Rate cap for business, as a percentage over a number of years
  • consumer cap = Rate cap for consumers, as a percentage over a number of years
  • retire debt = Flat rate charge on every power bill, regardless of use, to retire debt associated with NB Power capital projects (Lepreau) and subsidies to all power users.
  • monopoly supply = NB Power "shall assert a monopoly over the transmission and distribution of electricity," as per NDP-NS NB Power policy.
  • open access = Binding bidding for rights to transmit under open access transmission tariffs shall apply, rather than the vaguer open-to-interpretation "commercial terms advantageous to New Brunswick" in the NDP-NS NB Power policy.
  • referendum = Commitment to ratify any drastic and irrevocable change to the structure of NB Power's assets with a public referendum, which the government must respect.