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Northwest BC

“Solar Ready” Sweeps the Province

There’s a solar revolution happening in BC as local governments around the province are passing resolutions to sign on to the new Solar Hot Water Regulation bylaw. The regulation requires all new single family homes (where applicable) to be built to accommodate future installation of a solar hot water system for water heating.

A solar ready home is one that has been designed and constructed to maximize the solar potential and to accommodate easy installation of the solar system. Benefits of solar ready homes include: easier installation of solar hot water system, less cost to install systems down the road, added resale potential of homes and increased energy efficiency and reduction of GHGs.

Climate Change Showdown: The Results Are In…

What can a talking sheep, a board game, and a giant thermometer teach kids about climate change and energy use? When they’re a part of BCSEA’s Climate Change Showdown, the answer is quite a bit.

The Showdown is an in-class workshop designed for elementary schools, which challenges children to participate in a take-home contest to reduce their family’s energy use. Since 2005, the program has reached 40,000 BC students, and participation in this year’s take home contest was phenomenal.

BC partners with SolarBC to back $2 million in new solar thermal projects

Through the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA), the BC Government has allocated $25 million for energy retrofit projects to eligible public sector organizations over the next year. Of this, $2 million has been earmarked specifically for solar projects, and the Province has chosen to partner with BCSEA’s SolarBC project to identify qualifying projects.

"We know this investment will immediately translate into a lower energy footprint for public sector buildings, less carbon pollution, and savings to taxpayers," said John Yap, Minister of State for Climate Action. "Equally important, these investments will create new jobs across the province and spur public sector organizations and B.C. businesses to find innovative ways to tackle climate change.

To C, or not to Site-C?

To C, or not to Site-C? That is, indeed, the question.

To BC Hydro, it's a useful and reliable source of renewable energy that can be used to balance intermittent energy from wind and run-of-river projects.

To those who live in the Peace, and who love the land, it’s the forever flooding of 5,000 hectares of history, culture, forest, farmland and habitat for wildlife.

In mid-May, the BCSEA hosted a cross-province webinar on the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project. This is one of many activities which, thanks to the support of our members and donors, we offer on a regular basis. The webinar presentations, by Ken Forest of the Peace Valley Environmental Association, and BCSEA's Tom Hackney and Guy Dauncey are available on our website.

Why Campbell's HST Is Bad for the Planet

We all hate the HST, right? It's now a populist campaign, led by former premier Bill Vander Zalm, who has, by the way, also predicted the HST will expand to take in the U.S. and Mexico and eventually be controlled from Brussels, Belgium, as part of a conspiratorial New World Order.

The HST has its pros and cons, but maybe we're being blinded by it and missing the real target. To explain why, let me step back for a moment. Under the PST, various "good" things are exempt, including bicycles and renewable energy equipment. That makes sense. But so are transport fuels and residential heating fuels: oil and gas.

Under the HST, the only exemptions allowed are those on a federal Department of Finance list in Ottawa that does not include bicycles or renewable energy equipment. So these exemptions have to go, along with almost everything else. The exemptions on transport and residential fuels, however, are permitted, and will remain.