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February 2017 - BCSEA Monthly


Competing Visions of Climate Action - Let the Contest Begin

With Clean Growth Climate Action, the BC New Democrats have just announced their intention to weigh in seriously on climate action and renewable energy transition in BC.

Given the timing, this looks like an early shot in the upcoming contest to form the next government. If so, that’s good news for energy and climate policy. Both are stalled at the stage where we recognize that we must do something but are not ready to make decisive commitments. A vigorous public discussion and a political mandate are probably needed to move forward.

Meanwhile (to no surprise), we expect the Green Party to make climate action and energy central themes of their platform when it is published in the next few weeks. The voters of BC may soon have a choice of three visions for BC to cut its carbon pollution and move to clean energy.

Last August, BCSEA panned the government’s Climate Leadership Plan (BC’s Climate Leadership Plan: cute graphics; no plan), saying it is not a proper plan because its proposed measures would take BC half of less of the distance to reach its legislated carbon emissions reductions.

Clean Growth Climate Action, is likewise not a proper plan, as it has little detail. But it makes several significant commitments of principle, including the assignment of carbon reduction targets to the sectors of industry, transportation and buildings.

Although the lack of detail makes comparison difficult, the NDP proposal commits to about 17 megatonnes of carbon cuts from these industry, transportation and buildings by 2030, which is not outrageously far from the trajectory BC should follow to meet its 2050 reduction targets. By contrast, the Climate Leadership Plan proposes much smaller reductions in those sectors, relies instead on questionable reductions from the forest sector, and acknowledges no intermediate reductions target.

Both parties promise to create jobs and stimulate the economy while taking climate action. However, the Climate Leadership Plan characterizes highway infrastructure construction like the Massey Tunnel replacement project as climate action, on the grounds that it would “reduce congestion.” This is false. Highway expansion induces more traffic and emissions and supports urban sprawl, which is a big driver of demand for fossil fuels.

The NDP proposal claims it would do better by investing in “job-creating infrastructure and projects that actually reduce carbon pollution, like new transit and transportation, renewable and clean technology, and energy efficiency upgrades”; however details are lacking.

The NDP proposals emphasize affordability and the protection of families. Corporate tax breaks would be reduced and carbon tax revenues would rebated to 80% of BC households, up from the current 40%.

The BCSEA looks forward to a healthy debate on these issues in the coming months, and especially during the election campaign in April and May. Watch out for BCSEA’s analyses of the parties’ platforms and candidates debates in a riding near you.


Read this article and more like it on the BCSEA blog!

Knowledge & Networking Await, Next Month at Energy Connections 2017!

Get ready for the biggest sustainable energy conference event of Spring 2017! Tickets to Energy Connections 2017 are going fast, with hundreds of renewable energy enthusiasts, business owners and members of government and education registered to attend.


Last year, Energy Connections was praised for its extensive networking opportunities. This year will be only better. Delegates will have the opportunity to really sit down and talk at length with industry members, community leaders and policy-makers. An incredible opportunity for both people looking to enter BC’s renewable energy industry and those already well established in the sector, Energy Connections 2017 will provide unique experiences unlike any other conference event in BC.


We have a full lineup of speakers ready for you to learn from throughout the day’s four sessions. Speakers like Matt Horne, Climate Change Policy Manager with the City of Vancouver and Jeff Weston, CEO and President of Thermenex, will inform and engage in lively dialogue with each other and the crowd, taking questions and opening interesting and insightful lines of discussion.

With each session tackling its share of crucial topics to discuss, from green energy policy and sustainable development, to new technologies and BC’s growing renewable infrastructure, you will leave Energy Connections 2017 with a clear understanding of all aspects of BC’s growing and diverse energy landscape.


The day is set to be a fantastic combination of interconnection, inspiration and informed dialogue. We hope you take this opportunity to further the drive for a clean, sustainable future for BC. Youth (under 30) and students can take part in Energy Connections 2017 for only $40, and BCSEA Members receive a discounted rate of $100. With this reduced price, there’s no better time to become a BCSEA Member! You’ll be able to make your dues back and gain the benefits of being a BCSEA Member all in one go.

See you at Energy Connections 2017!


BCSEA Victoria seeks help to bring about real change in the CRD region

We at BCSEA Victoria predict a close and interesting election campaign leading to the May 9 election, with significant differences on energy issues. As such, we are planning to stage at least two and as many as four debates in the south island area.

Saanich North and the Islands was a very tight race in 2013, with one percentage point separating the top three finishers. Esquimalt-Metchosin will also be strongly contested, as incumbent Maurine Karagianis will be stepping down, and BC Liberal candidate Barb Desjardins vying for the position

A couple more of the local ridings may have interesting contests, and BCSEA is also testing for interest in a party platform debate that would feature each party’s most knowledgeable speaker on clean energy and climate action.

Our goal is to ensure that clean energy issues become critical election issues. If we get enough media profile and public interest, this could swing a couple of ridings – or more. Here’s the catch. Attracting media and public interest takes money. The Victoria Chapter is launching its first ever crowd funding campaign in the next few days. 

We are asking for your support to help us organize these local debates in the CRD region. Our goal of $5,000 will allow us to create and distribute flyers, secure the venues and hire an experienced communications coordinator. Your donation, whether $10, $50, $100 or more, will help make a difference in this critical election. This gives you the opportunity to hear the various parties air their views regarding climate change, green jobs in BC, the Kinder Morgan pipeline and other significant energy issues.  And you even get some great perks for your donation! Everyone who donates gets a reserved seat at the debate of their choice, and the first 14 donors of $50 or more get a free T-shirt courtesy of Hemp and Company!

By making energy policy a necessary and crucial part of the 2017 provincial election, you will join the growing wave of support for a clean, green future for British Columbia. Help us create the platform for meaningful debates in your community, and help us get BC back on track to being climate leaders once more. Help future generations of Canadians, donate today!


Your Power Poll - BC Hydro seeks input on Net Metering Program

The net metering program is BC Hydro’s fastest growing customer generation program with over 900 customers generating their power and 200 more on the way. BC Hydro is proud of the net metering program and of its customers who demonstrate leadership by installing clean or renewable energy resources at their homes or businesses to offset electricity use.

BC Hydro wants to collect your opinion for the purposes of understanding your experience with the net metering program and identifying areas for improvements, and to fulfill its mandate under the Hydro and Power Authority Act and the Utilities Commission Act.

Click here to take the poll.











From the Blog

BCSEA Kamloops - Ambassadors of Sustainability

Since its creation in 2004, the Kamloops BCSEA Chapter has had astonishing success in promoting renewable energy solutions and gathering like-minded passionate individuals devoted to sustainable lifestyles. By facilitating a variety of engaging initiatives and events, the chapter has played a key role in elevating the community’s awareness of tangible solutions away from fossil fuels. From promoting innovative sustainable technologies to organizing art exhibitions showcasing community member success stories, the Kamloops Chapter has been a true sustainability ambassador over the years.

Read about the work and passion of BCSEA Kamloops in our latest article here. 


Solar Sparks! One couple's journey to renewable self-sufficiency

We recently installed solar panels on our roof and I have never seen my hubby so excited and animated in such a long time. He had been fretting over the increasing cost of our hydro and the spectre of Site-C sending our hydro bills soaring.

It was an awesome feeling when within our first 24 hours of hookup we had produced an incredible 13 KWH of electricity and this was in February! We were tickled pink and awed to be harnessing the power of the sun.

Read more

In the News

  • China surges ahead on renewable energy, scrapping plans for 85 coal plants in lieu of solar power Read Article
  • The City of Vancouver brings on EC2017 speaker Matt Horne to guide its quest to be the greenest city. Read Article
  • Energy giants of Denmark pull out of coal power, turning millions in investments to renewable energy. Read Article
  • The debate on responsibility for climate change heats up! Read Article
  • Renewable energy can attract big money. 2017 is looking good for renewable investment. Read Article

BCSEA Featured Member

The Real Estate Foundation of BC is a philanthropic organization that helps advance sustainable land use in British Columbia. It provides grants to non-profit organizations working to improve B.C.communities and natural environments through responsible and informed land use, conservation and real estate practices. Its funding programs support research, education, and law and policy reform. Since 1988, the Foundation has approved more than $75 million in grants. The Foundation also conducts research and special projects to support collaboration and knowledge-sharing around land use.

Read More 




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