In 2021, SECC will be recognizing a member each month, providing an organizational profile and highlighting the member's accomplishments and output in the smart energy space.
Saint John Energy is a progressive Canadian energy company serving Saint John, New Brunswick. Locally owned and operated since 1922, the company provides trusted energy solutions to more than 36,000 residential and business customers. One of the highest-rated electric utilities in the nation for reliability and customer satisfaction, it holds the coveted Sustainable Electricity Company designation and is recognized as one of the most innovative utilities in Canada.
As Saint John Energy nears a century of service, it is creating the utility of the future for its customers – driving innovation in smart energy products, forging new renewable energy opportunities and developing advanced artificial intelligence to create a smart grid for the city.
With its Smart Energy Project, it is leveraging artificial intelligence and other technologies to advance Saint John’s electric grid and to connect its evolving smart energy product line.
Its advanced smart grid will allow it to manage and shift peak demand by relying on artificial intelligence, weather forecasts and other data to smooth peak energy events. As it softens peak demand, it will help its wholesale supplier of electricity lower GHG emissions associated with high-emitting generation plants brought online in times of peak demand.
Saint John Energy’s smart grid is ushering in a broad array of intelligent devices and products – from hot water heaters to heat pumps, smart thermostats, advanced batteries and home electric vehicle chargers.
Saint John Energy is partnering with wind energy developer Natural Forces to establish the first large-scale wind project in the city – a $60 million venture that will supply up to 43 megawatts of low-cost, clean energy.
When the Burchill Wind Project goes online in 2022, Saint John Energy will be the first locally owned utility in New Brunswick to purchase embedded wind energy from a project it helped create.
Burchill not only will allow the company to accelerate the shift to green energy, it also reduces the utility’s reliance on generation from outside its territory and is expected to generate significant savings in power purchasing.
The company is also exploring new solar energy projects, including the feasibility of a community solar garden. The large-scale, ground-mounted solar array would allow its customers to rent solar panels in the array and have the generation from those panels credited to their power bills.
As part of its innovative agenda, Saint John Energy is exploring and adopting leading-edge energy storage solutions.
In late 2019, it became the first in the world to deploy a Tesla Megapack. The state-of-the-art 1.25 MW/2.5 MWh battery allows the company to manage peak energy in new ways, saving money and curbing carbon emissions along the way.
The massive 51,000-pound battery, which stores enough electricity to power more than 100 homes for two hours, is the sort of technology that will help the company manage the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation, including its wind and solar projects.
Saint John Energy is rolling out an array of new products and services for its customers. Its award-winning heat pump rental program has been a resounding success, with demand far exceeding the company’s expectations.
To pilot its smart home bundle – a suite of products that includes a smart heat pump, smart water heater and smart thermostat – it partnered with a developer completely retrofitting once-condemned housing into new apartments.
It is partnering with Stash Energy, a New Brunswick startup that has created an intelligent heat pump with built-in energy storage, to test Stash units in customers’ homes. In doing so, it is exploring not only how to serve customers with advanced technology but backing local innovators.
Its new Home Heat Saver program allows its customers to pinpoint heat loss from their homes through sophisticated aerial thermal imaging. A free and confidential service, it enables homeowners to log in to their accounts to see a private and customized thermal image of their rooftops, allowing them to see where they have the most heat loss. The utility offers to connect customers with rebate programs, efficiency services and innovative products to improve their home’s energy efficiency.
Saint John Energy is committed to making the city it serves a better place to live and work.
It has built a strong corporate culture around giving back to the community, and its employees and the company are known for their generous donations to local organizations. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer their time with community causes and has one hour of paid time a week to dedicate to their volunteer work.
It has a record of throwing its support behind community initiatives like a major annual fundraiser to fund food banks in the region, a literacy program for students at a neighborhood school and working with local government and others to enhance community safety.
Recently, it partnered with the City of Saint John and clean technology company Liveable Cities to install sensors on LED street lights across the city that detect the movement of traffic and send back anonymous data that is then used to help improve traffic management and safety, allowing the city to make evidence-based decisions around issues such as traffic calming measures.
For more information on Saint John Energy, visit www.sjenergy.com.