Nova Scotia makes big gains in energy reduction

Nova Scotians are using simple, practical measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as using energy-efficient LEDs and replacing old appliances. It all adds up to big conservation gains.

Efficiency Nova Scotia says province is a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The province has reduced its energy consumption by about eight per cent since 2008. (CBC)

Nova Scotians are adjusting their energy consumption habits and it is leading to a real reduction in electricity use, according to Efficiency Nova Scotia.

The non-profit organization said Tuesday, Nova Scotians reduced their energy consumption by 1.2 per cent in 2015. 

Monica MacLean, spokeswoman for Efficiency Nova Scotia, said the province has reduced its energy consumption by about eight per cent since 2008.

She said there are many reasons for the reduction. MacLean credits a greater awareness of energy-saving practices such as switching out old light bulbs for energy-efficient LED lighting and replacing old appliances with ones that use less electricity.

Millions of old light bulbs replaced with LEDs

"In terms of light bulbs, we've been in over 20 per cent of Nova Scotia households to help replace those light bulbs and we've already replaced over 1.2 million," she said.

The reduction has the same impact as taking 18,000 cars off Nova Scotia roads. (Greg Baker/The Associated Press)

"Significant numbers and those numbers are climbing every day because it's a really simple measure that we can help people with."

She said Nova Scotians are naturally aware of ways to save energy.

"There's something that's embedded in the culture around here too. If you take a look around, Nova Scotians are hanging their clothes out on the line," she said.

Adds up to a lot of energy savings

According to Efficiency Nova Scotia, a 1.2 per cent reduction equates to over 89,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions diverted from the atmosphere.

"It doesn't sound like a lot indeed, but it does add up to a lot when you think of the greenhouse gas emissions it's reducing," MacLean said.

"When you think of the goals we that have around climate change and reducing emissions, that's a nice little drop in the bucket."

MacLean said it would have the same impact as taking 18,000 vehicles off Nova Scotia roads.

Province is leader

Nova Scotia is a leader in energy reduction compared to other Canadian provinces, she said.

The province has been working at that goal longer, compared to Alberta which is just seeing its climate change plan come into fruition.

"When you look at the research that went into developing that, they turned to Nova Scotia as inspiration," MacLean said.