Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Saint John Energy workers can be seen at work in this file photo. Image: Staff photo

Saint John Energy looks to become city-owned corporation

By Brad Perry Mar 13, 2024 | 6:13 AM

The City of Saint John will petition the province to make Saint John Energy its own corporation.

During a special meeting Monday evening, council voted to petition the province for a private bill to “corporatize” the utility.

“City staff have been working collaboratively with the staff from Saint John Energy toward the corporatization of Saint John Energy to bring it in line with industry,” said a staff report to council.

Under the province’s Local Governance Act, municipal governments are not allowed to establish corporations.

The proposed legislation would allow for an exemption, which is needed for the utility to become a municipally-owned corporation.

“The energy landscape, customer expectations and the business environment in which Saint John Energy operates have all changed considerably. That change is accelerating in part due to emerging environmental policies aimed at combating climate change,” said an FAQ on the utility’s website.

“The administrative flexibility of a fully established corporation will enable Saint John Energy to more effectively respond to this changing environment.”

Saint John Energy said despite its successes in innovation, its progress has been “slowed or constrained by the current legislative environment.”

Becoming a corporation would allow the utility to pursue investments, innovations, potential corporate partnerships, funding opportunities, and other business ventures, said the FAQ.

“It recognizes the continued entitlement of a fair return on equity for the city, in keeping with the majority of municipal electric utilities across Canada and North America,” it said.

If the private bill were to pass, Saint John Energy would still be owned by the city and governed by an independent city-appointed board.