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 Victopria 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!
Steering Committee Openings
We do not currently have any openings for new Steering Committee members but we welcome new volunteers to help us with our projects!
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 intiative that the BCSEA Victoria Chapter is pioneering this year.
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!
Our 2018 Victoria Chapter AGM
Our new Steering Committee for 2019 - Left to right Rafe Sunshine, Robin Lowry, Yaqiong Wang, Scott Mellett, Denise Stocco, Bruce Mackenzie, Paul Rasmussen, Sam Torrance, Tom Hackney. Not Pictured: Praveen Ponraj, September Smith, Lisa Kadonaga.
Our 2018 Victoria Chapter AGM was held on November 29th, 2018 at Gorgeous Coffee in Saanich. The AGM featured a keynote address by newly reelected Victoria City Councilmember Jeremy Loveday speaking on Victoria’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in housing and buildings. We also heard from Jess Dawe, Energy & Climate Action Manager for Victoria who told us about the City of Victoria's new Climate Leadership Plan. Afterwards Jeremy and Jess hosted an interesting and informative question and answer session with the audience. We also elected a new Steering Committee (pictured above). And for the second year we held a silent auction to raise funds for the chapter which was quite successful.
2018 Municipal Elections
BCSEA Victoria Chapter teamed up with 5 other organizations to ask 12 questions related to sustainable transportation of all mayoral and council candidates in the Greater Victoria Area for the municipal elections. Over half of the non-acclaimed candidates responded and the site got over 17000 views before the election. To check out what winning candidates in your municipality said about sustainable transportation go to the Victorians for Transportation Choice website.