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Posted: January 5, 2016

Climate action on a local scale

After world nations negotiate in Paris on climate – Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), BC Hydro and Columbia Basin Trust are partnering to help East Kootenay communities save energy and reduce emissions.

RDEK Logo newThe multi-year partnership will help create a level playing field for incentives on better buildings, map out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, accelerate composting of household and commercial organic waste, and plan long-term support for upgrading existing homes. This will be delivered through a regional Community Energy Manager.

The regional Community Energy Manager position is unique in British Columbia. Implementing energy- saving initiatives at a regional scale is an efficient and effective way of achieving results and engaging citizens. The rural context and smaller populations of East Kootenay communities will benefit from a collaborative approach to the challenges of addressing energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

bchydro FernieBC Hydro and Columbia Basin Trust saw an opportunity to work collaboratively with the RDEK and member local governments to create the Community Energy Manager position. Diane Tammen, Community Relations Manager for the East Kootenay, helped to bring the position to fruition.

“The East Kootenay is the only regional district to have a Community Energy Manager. Along with Columbia Basin Trust, we are pleased to support this innovative approach to energy management, and we believe the communities will benefit by having access to expertise that will contribute to energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reductions,” she said.

PrintBill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East and Minister of Energy & Mines, applauded the collaboration and good work. “I want to thank Columbia Basin Trust for matching BC Hydro’s investment in this important program and for the RDEK’s contribution as well. All residents will have opportunity to benefit – in homes and businesses and on the road – and in this case, making a difference and conserving energy also means saving money!”

Regional District of East Kootenay Board Chair Rob Gay sees opportunities in a regional approach, particularly around transportation and solid waste. “This position provides capacity to our East Kootenay communities which would not exist otherwise. We are pleased to support a Community Energy Manager, and look forward to the savings and opportunities that will benefit East Kootenay residents.”

The delivery agent for the Regional Community Energy Manager will be Community Energy Association (CEA), a non-profit society that supports communities in saving energy, emissions, and money.

Megan Lohmann from CEA’s Fernie office will lead the delivery of this support.


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