Columbia Basin Trust and FortisBC partner on conservation program
Several West Kootenay communities will soon be reducing their carbon footprint thanks to $168,000 support from Columbia Basin Trust and FortisBC.
Over the next year, participating local governments will work alongside the Community Energy Association (CEA) which will provide expert support to help communities, in FortisBC’s electric service operating area (in Columbia Basin Trust’s region), find ways to use less energy in their community.
Through the community-based planning process, recommendations will include measures for communities as a whole to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency, focusing on things like residential and commercial buildings, transportation and waste. The process will benefit residents and businesses directly and could result in incentive programs such as energy diets or energy efficiency upgrade programs resulting in lower energy and heating costs to businesses and individuals.
“One of our objectives is to help communities prepare for and take action on issues related to climate change,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “By partnering with FortisBC and the Community Energy Association, we will be able to help local governments and residents save energy and reduce their carbon footprints.”
“Our goal is to provide funding that helps communities set their own energy-conservation priorities,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, FortisBC Executive Vice-President of Customer Service and Segulatory Affairs. “By working closely with a community from the outset, we can identify the most impactful ways to help save energy, help our customers manage their energy bills, and focus on projects that matter most to our customers and the community.”
Each participating municipality will come away with a Strategic Community Energy and Emissions Plan, which will help it achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets set out in its Official Community Plan. Similar community plans have already been developed by CEA, in Basin Communities, such as the Village of Nakusp, in the BC Hydro service area.
Three communities have already agreed to participate—Salmo, Rossland and Kaslo—with others being invited to participate including:
- Central Kootenay
- Kootenay Boundary
From 2008 to 2014, the Trust partnered with three regional districts (Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary) to meet the targets established under the Climate Action Charter to reduce the carbon footprints of local government operations. The Carbon Neutral Kootenays project resulted in local governments in the Columbia Basin reducing their corporate greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 10 per cent.
Climate change is one of five priorities in the Trust’s Environment Strategic Plan. Learn more about how the organization is addressing the issue here.