One Way Maritimers can Drastically Reduce their Energy Consumption

Solar panels on grass

Canada’s Maritime provinces are blustery, cold, and powered by coal. The weather is fine for most people (and lovely in the summer), but they know they need to transition to renewable energy quickly or risk losing more land to the seas and worsening storms due to climate change. The work to get the power grid to be a green one is underway.

Researchers and policy makers are looking into ways to make their power grid more robust by incorporating modern battery technology. The technology varies from smart water heaters to store heat to phase-change energy storage which is gaining popularity around the world.

Several companies in the Maritimes are investigating the possibility of integrating phase-change materials into heat sources to allow more integration of renewables. 

One is Fredericton-based Stash Energy. Dan Curwin, director of business development, said they’ve developed heat pumps with phase-change material storage built in, to store energy from renewable sources like hydro when it’s plentiful, such as overnight, and discharge it in the morning when demand is high, to be stored up again from renewables like solar during the day. 

This can help with the integration of renewables and with greater adoption of electric heat pumps, which are the most efficient heating option but risk overburdening the grid. 

Curwin said the company has partnerships with efficiency agencies across Atlantic Canada and New England, as well as housing authorities such as Housing Nova Scotia that recognize the particular burden posed by heating costs. 

Read more.

Thanks to Mike!

More Smoking Bans in Canada

Last month a small town in Nova Scotia banned smoking in cars with children passengers. Last year we mentioned that Quebec and Ontario are nearly smoke-free.

It’s great to see how all these places are limiting where one can smoke as second hand smoke, and smoking itself, is harmful. Now New Brunswick is jumping on the no smoking in cars bandwagon with more provinces to follow.

Michael Murphy, [New Brunswick’s] health minister, told CTV Halifax that he’s concerned that the tobacco industry is targeting kids. He also said that New Brunswick residents may want to consider the possibility of a smoking ban in cars with kids.

British Columbia and the Yukon are considering similar legislation. Ontario politicians have also started to debate vehicle smoking bans.

Studies show that the concentration of toxins in a smoke-filled car is 23 times greater than a smoky bar. Yet, one in five children are exposed to smoke in a car on a regular basis.

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