Who we are
The BC Sustainable Energy Association Victoria Chapter is dedicated to ensuring a renewable energy future. With an extensive member base across southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, we are a clear voice for progressive change in the region.
The Victoria Chapter seeks to educate and advocate on issues related to energy use, the reduction of GHG emissions, and solutions for transitioning to a non fossil-fuel economy. The Victoria Chapter is one of the oldest and most active chapters of the BCSEA, with an extensive history and varied member base, consisting of retirees, students, sustainable energy industry members and members of government. We are excited about the bright future that we believe is coming to British Columbia, and want to ensure it is one powered by renewable energy.
We are environmentally minded people who are excited about the sustainable future we believe is possible for British Columbia and would like you to join us!
If you haven't already, check out and like our Victoria Chapter Facebook page.
What we do
The BCSEA Victoria Chapter partners with like-minded organizations, faith based groups, NGOs and businesses to collaborate on renewable energy projects and reach the largest audience possible. We undertake regular events; engaging the public in education of renewable energy solutions, low-carbon transportation and the opportunities to lead a greener, cleaner lifestyle.
We advocate for strong action on climate change and work to build broad support for a transition to a sustainable future for BC. This includes engaging with government, politicians, and the public.
When we meet
Our Steering Committee meets on the fourth Monday of each month. If you would like to attend a meeting, please contact Paul Rasmussen or Tom Hackney at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for people who want to get involved.
We have three or four Pub Nights each year, open to all, but you need to be on the Victoria Chapter membership list hear about it – so think about becoming a BCSEA member!
We are always looking for volunteers to help us with our various projects. To see what we are looking for check out our Volunteer Page.
Steering Committee Openings
We are currently looking for new Steering Committee members. If interested, please look at our Volunteer Page.
Hayden Ord – Welcome to Our Chapter Steering Committee
The Victoria Chapter is pleased to welcome Hayden Ord as its latest steering committee member. Hayden says:
“The term ‘sustainable energy’ speaks for itself, really. Energy sustains life as we know it, however, humans have historically chosen to harness it in ways that result in the opposite. As a young person, I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the Victoria Chapter of the BCSEA to do my part in changing the way our society interacts with energy. While we don’t have a silver bullet solution to achieve decarbonization, organizations like the BCSEA continue to nudge the needle in the right direction, a movement I’m energized to be a part of.”
Victorians for Transportation Choice
The Chapter has joined with 5 other organizations to pose questions about sustainable transportation for the December 12th By-Election for the Victoria City council. To see candidates answer go here. And if you live in Victoria, don't forget to vote on December 12th or earlier!
- BC election questionnaire candidate responses
- Chapter AGM
BC election questionnaire candidate responses:
For the BC election, the Victoria Chapter teamed up with Parents for Climate, For Our Grandkids, and For Our Kids to put five critical climate action questions to all the candidates in our seven local constituencies.
The questions and responses are currently posted here.
Nineteen of the twenty-seven local candidates responded, with many interesting ideas.
Some answers were obviously cut and pasted from party platforms. Others were individually crafted. Some were vague or wishful. Others were specific and realistic. All showed a commitment to addressing climate change and moving off fossil fuels.
Four of the seven winning candidates responded:
- Murray Rankin, NDP - Oak Bay-Gordon Head
- Adam Olsen, Green - Saanich North and the Islands
- John Horgan, NDP - Langford-Juan de Fuca
- Mitzi Dean, NDP - Esquimalt-Metchosin
BCSEA will use their statements to hold them to their promises, and we invite our readers to do the same. This is particularly relevant to the NDP, which will form the next government. But we can also look to the opposition parties to support a climate for effective action on renewable energy and fossil fuels.
Victoria Chapter Annual General Meeting
In other news, the Victoria Chapter will hold its AGM in November or early December – online in these COVID times. We are lining up some interesting speakers and activities. We hope you will join us to set our course for the next year. An announcement will be sent out shortly.
Kira and Instagram
Welcome to Kira Gill-Maher, who will be re-animating the Chapter’s Instagram activities - follow us at bcseavictoria.
Solar on a Strata blog: Several years ago Victoria Chapter Steering Committee member Bruce Mackenzie worked with his strata council to arrange to put photovoltaic solar panels on the strata roof. Bruce has an ongoing blog about this starting here. The latest update is here.
100% Renewable Energy by 2050 Initiative
Our biggest and most exciting initiative is to persuade all municipalities on southern Vancouver Island to commit to 100% Renewable Energy (“100% RE”) by 2050 — and we mean ALL energy, not just municipal operations!
100% RE by 2050 is growing around the world, with cities often leading. See GO 100% Renewable Energy or Simon Fraser University’s Renewable Cities. Vancouver committed to this target in 2015, as did Victoria in August 2016 and the District of Saanich in October 2017.
The Chapter’s 100% RE work included a 100% RE “Pathway” report for the District of Saanich. We presented this to the public at our Big Town Hall in Saanich’s Commonwealth Centre, and in March 2017, working with the Climate Issues Collaborative, we presented it to Saanich Council, asking Council to adopt the 100% RE target. Saanich Council did so in October 2017.
Our next steps:
- Continue to engage local government, allies and the public in Saanich and Victoria on developing and implementing their 100% RE plans.
- Continue to foster the public discussion of sustainability and 100% RE;
- More research on 100% RE here and around the world;
- Reach out to other municipalities in southern Vancouver Island.
- Stay tuned for more news – or drop us a line and volunteer to help.
Youth Involvement Pilot Project
The Youth Involvement Pilot Project is a new initiative that the BCSEA Victoria Chapter is pioneering.
Youths in grades nine to twelve are concerned for their futures and what they can do to prevent global warming by reducing their carbon footprint. These students may be involved in their school’s Environmental Club and also involved in their community (ie. Recycling, Community Garden, Food Bank, etc. High school counselors are often overworked with student course corrections, student mental health issues, etc. and information about future Renewable Energy jobs is often non-existent or out-of-date from Job Counselors. The BCSEA Victoria Chapter believes we could provide better information to both students and Career Counselors.
Providing more current Renewable Energy information could stimulate discussion within students’ schools, among their parents (Parents Advisory Council), and their communities. Such actions could also help boost the BCSEA youth membership, adding new energy for future projects. And it could help our BCSEA business members find interested students for summer employment opportunities and/or post-secondary work experiences.
Do you have some knowledge about an area of renewable energy that you'd like to share with high school students? Or is your business interested in hiring a student for renewable energy-related project? If you are interested, please let us know!