Energy Strategies - Nova Scotia

Ministry of Energy

Department of Energy


The Honourable Bill Estabrooks


Nova Scotia Overview

Released in January 2009 Toward a Greener Future: Energy Strategy and its companion climate change action plan set out policy actions designed to “grow the economy while protecting the environment.” As the only province to use tidal power, Nova Scotia’s energy strategy is also the only one to cite efforts to that end, such as $5 million toward the Fundy tidal demonstration centre. Similar to the creation of provincial energy efficiency offices in Prince Edward Island and Quebec, the strategy also calls for the creation of “a new, independent administrator for the electrical efficiency program established by the Utility and Review Board,” as well as providing efficiency measures in the usual areas of building, transportation and government. The province’s strategy is also notable for the number of dates attached to its policy actions, with a heavy concentration in its immediate years (2009 and 2010) and a smaller number through 2020, when the third of three greenhouse gas caps is applied to Nova Scotia Power.

Petroleum development features notably in the strategy document, with offshore oil development specifically outlined in the Nova Scotia Offshore Renewal Plan and the strategy document calling for the creation of an “Onshore Petroleum Resources Management Plan.” The strategy outlines funding for further exploration and proposes the creation of a “petroleum atlas” for that purpose, as well as calling for a harmonized approach to regulation with New Brunswick.

In April 2010, the Government of Nova Scotia released its Renewable Electricity Plan (925 KB PDF). The plan commits the province to producing 25 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015, and 40 per cent by 2020. To accomplish this goal, the plan establishes a community-based feed-in tariff (COMFIT), which is expected to create 100 MW of new renewable energy from projects lower than 2 MW. Though all sources of renewable power are under consideration, biomass generation has been capped at 500,000 dry tones above current use. Net metering power limits will also be increased from 100 kW to 1 MW.


Toward a Greener Future: Nova Scotia’s Energy Strategy includes eight policies that guide the province’s actions on energy. These policies, in turn, correspond to common themes found throughout Canada’s other provincial and territorial energy strategies.

  • Conservation and Efficiency: By 2020, Nova Scotia will increase energy efficiency in the province by 20 per cent
  • Renewable Energy: We will require and encourage more renewable electricity energy
  • Electricity: To enhance our energy security, we will use less imported coal, and more diverse sources of clean, local, and renewable energy
  • Offshore Petroleum: We will encourage renewed offshore exploration and development, with its enormous potential for building future prosperity
  • Onshore Petroleum: We will encourage onshore energy exploration and development
  • Technology and Knowledge-Based Growth: We will support Nova Scotians’ ongoing participation in a changing energy industry
  • Downstream Energy Opportunities: Nova Scotia’s energy markets will remain competitive and open for imports and exports
  • Social Accountability: The province will continue to consult widely and seek advice on sustainable energy policy

Major Energy Players


  • Major study of electricity system
  • Independent electricity conservation agency begins operation
  • First tidal device enters Bay of Fundy
  • Sustainable procurement policy created by province
  • EnerGuide minimum rating of 80 on new residential dwelling
  • Require all new residential dwellings, and all commercial buildings under 600 m2, to meet prescriptive or performance requirements that are equivalent to an EnerGuide for New Homes rating of 80 under the Nova Scotia Building Code Act
  • Require low-flush toilets and permit the use of water-free technologies and the re-use of grey water under the Nova Scotia Building Code Act
  • Develop regulations to allow greater use of two-way electric meters
  • Develop a program to encourage and support consumers to choose greener cars and trucks that are more fuel efficient and produce less air pollution
  • Develop an anti-idling policy for government vehicles and employee vehicles on government business
  • First GHG emission cap for Nova Scotia Power
  • First gas expected from Deep Panuke project
  • Final deadline for ecoNova Scotia grants
  • Emissions standards for new motor vehicles
  • Deadline for decision on Georges Bank moratorium review
  • Renewable Energy Standard 2010 requirement (adding 5 per cent renewable energy post-2001 supply
  • Produce a Sustainable Transportation Strategy
  • Introduce regulations setting fuel consumption and emissions standards for new vehicles
  • All new government-owned buildings must achieve LEED Silver certification achieve LEED Gold certification or equivalent;
  • Exploration deadlines for offshore parcels offered in NS07 and NS08 call for bids
  • Amend the Nova Scotia Building Code Act to require all new commercial buildings of more than 600 m2 to exceed the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings by at least 25 per cent
  • Develop a bio-resource strategy
  • Georges Bank moratorium deadline
  • Deadline for Renewable Energy Standard: 10 per cent of NSPI electricity (post-2001 supplies) must come from new clean renewable sources
  • Demonstration facility for energy effciency and sustainability
  • Second GHG emission cap for Nova Scotia Power
  • Begin a program in 2009 to achieve BOMA BESt [Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada–Building Environmental Standards] certification, or equivalent, for all of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s major owned and operated buildings;
  • Renewable energy target of at least 25 per cent total electricity supply
  • New interim renewable energy requirement goes into effect
  • Third GHG emission cap on Nova Scotia Power
  • Deadline for greenhouse gas reductions to 10 per cent below 1990 levels
  • New renewable energy target of at least 25 per cent total electricity supply
  • Deadline for 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency
  • All new government-owned buildings must be carbon-neutral
  • Achieve an overall 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption for all government-owned buildings constructed before 2001
  • Renewable energy target of at least 40 per cent total electricity supply