Print Icon


This newsletter provides information about CEA projects, events, and the networks it supports – all aimed at accelerating bold action from local governments and Indigenous communities related to climate and energy.

If you know people who would be interested in receiving this newsletter, forward this email to them and invite them to subscribe.

This month:

  • CEA’s Climate & Energy Action Awards
  • Making existing homes high-performing
  • ICYMI: Handy resources about BC’s updated building code
  • An EV Milestone – 200 chargers and counting!
  • Electric Mobility Roadshow
  • Welcome to new CEA staff
  • Inspiration from Elsewhere: San Francisco

Award Nominations - Don't Delay!

Communities all over BC are initiating interesting projects related to energy and climate action. Here’s their chance to be recognized and for others to hear about – and learn from – their experiences. But it won’t happen automatically; these examples of success need to be nominated for CEA's 2023 Climate & Energy Action Awards.

Submit a nomination today, or at least no later than the July 10 deadline. Our esteemed panel of judges will consider the greenhouse gas emissions each entry has avoided (or will avoid) and how it involved people and built capacity, maximized local resources, and resulted in diverse local benefits.

The Climate & Energy Action Awards celebrate high-impact, bold, replicable, and collaborative actions taken by Indigenous communities, regional districts, and municipalities in BC. Watch for information about the nominees in the August edition of this newsletter and for the winners to be announced in September at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Vancouver.


Can existing homes also be high-performing homes?

The short answer to that question is “yes,” but unlike new homes, which are built according to a building code that now requires greater levels of energy-efficiency, the path for owners of existing homes is much more, well, complicated. That’s assuming the path is even visible! Many homeowners and contractors alike are confronted with so many options for different technologies and different rebate programs that they simply don’t upgrade existing homes. That’s not a good outcome for the economy or the environment, let alone the people living in those homes.

Enter Retrofit Assist, a “concierge-style” program that CEA launched last year, first in Squamish and Whistler, and later in Rossland. The roll-out of the program was popular in all three communities:

  • In Squamish and Whistler, Retrofit Assist started as a program to facilitate heat pump installations. The program is now encompassing a larger suite of supports to improve energy-efficiency: air sealing, insulation, windows and doors, heat pump installation, and more.
  • In Rossland, the 2022 Retrofit Assist program was over-subscribed within a week of launching. Last month, a second intake was opened. Only a handful of spots remain, at which point about 100 homeowners in Rossland will be working through Retrofit Assist to undertake various home energy improvements.
The program staff’s experience so far is that while financial incentives are vital, personal assistance to connect homeowners with energy advisors and qualified contractors is even more critical in order to develop a plan for each home, have proper equipment identified and installed, and ultimately qualify for rebates. For homeowners, expected results include lower energy bills, a more comfortable home, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. For energy advisors and contractors, Retrofit Assist provides valuable supports that allow them to focus on getting the job done, doing it well, and ultimately serving more customers.

Interested in having Retrofit Assist in your community? CEA is exploring the potential of expanding Retrofit Assist in collaboration with municipalities, regional districts, and Indigenous communities. Contact us today for more info.

In case you missed it: New Requirements for New Construction

Back on May 1, changes to the BC Building Code came into effect that will require new buildings to be about 20% more energy-efficient than buildings built to the previous building code. The Province also announced the Zero Carbon Step Code that regulates the carbon emissions associated with operating newly constructed buildings.

CEA has produced a handy one-pager that summarizes all of the changes and what’s required along with what’s optional (for now, at least). There’s also a recording of a webinar for elected officials and information about a network of local government staff who meet quarterly to increase knowledge and accelerate action related to the BC Energy Step Code and the Zero Carbon Step Code.

200 and Counting

CEA reached a milestone last month! Through collaboration with various local, regional, and Indigenous governments in BC and Alberta, CEA’s 200th electric vehicle charging station was installed in June. Not taking any time to celebrate, CEA has already blown by that number and now can point to 214 charging ports that have been installed since the first one in 2017. In fact, even though the year is only half over, CEA has already facilitated the installation of as many charging ports in 2023 as it did in all of 2022, which itself was a record year.  

Among the communities that received chargers in June are 

Houston, Kitimat, Prince George, and the Nisga’a villages in the Nass Valley. 

Work to foster regional partnerships, develop EV strategies, identify charging locations, and facilitate the installation of the chargers themselves has become a cornerstone of CEA’s efforts to support communities in their efforts to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and realize opportunities for attracting EV-driving visitors. It’s a critical need, since in many rural communities, transportation accounts for more local greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources combined.

Hittin’ the Road to Showcase Electric Mobility

Infrastructure is one thing, familiarity is another. Hot on the heels of efforts to get more EV chargers installed, CEA staff are working to make sure that people have the opportunity to actually experience different options for electric mobility. They’ll be at various events over the summer, primarily in the Kootenays; all part of an electric mobility roadshow. Watch for them with an F150 Lightning, an electric scooter, and eBike. 

Last year, CEA staff traveled from Logan Lake to Terrace in a Ford Mustang Mach E and visited 13 communities along the way as part of the Charge North Electric Vehicle Discovery Tour

Join us in welcoming....

Andrea Hedley, Engagement Lead. Andrea joins CEA with expertise in public and stakeholder engagement, strategic communications and climate action. Her work focuses on how dialogue, collaboration and networks can drive progress on resilient low carbon communities. She currently lives in Burnaby, on the unceded, ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səlilwətaɬ Nations.

Rachel Buskie, Program Manager in the Built Environment Service Area. Rachel brings experience in project management, construction, and planning for the management of natural assets and will be leading CEA initiatives that aim to build capacity for the clean energy transition in the construction industry, often in partnership with Indigenous communities. Rachel lives in East Sooke on Vancouver Island on the territories of the Scia’new First Nation.

CaroleAnn Leishman, Climate Leaders Program Manager. Formerly elected in Port Alberni on the territory of the ɬəʔamɛn Nation,  CaroleAnn is now supporting elected officials in local governments around BC to be leaders in climate action and achieve community resiliency and carbon emission reduction goals through resource-sharing and collaboration with partners.

Inspiration from Elsewhere: San Francisco

Chances are, if you’re reading this newsletter, you live in a community with an energy and emissions plan that documents the sources of local greenhouse gas emissions and some ideas for reducing them. But do you know what those plans say or how your personal behaviours affect local emissions? San Francisco wants to ensure its residents answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” See how that city is making its climate plan tangible and action-oriented.