a Message from our Board Member
Stephen Hargreves

Dear members and donors,

As the newest member of the board, I have taken the last few months to find my footing and seek opportunities to contribute. I have been nothing but impressed by the level of engagement across all facets of the BCSEA organization, and can confidently say that the board of directors, the regional chapters and all members of the BCSEA are ready to make this a year to remember.

January has already set an exciting tone – most notably through the formal announcement of BCSEA’s sponsorship of the Switch It Up program. This exciting initiative seeks to raise awareness about the risks of residential natural gas and the availability of healthier and non-polluting electric heating and cooking technologies. On January 19th, we hosted a webinar to introduce Switch It Up to our community. If you missed it, the recording is on our website for members.

The Cool It! initiative has also received good news. In mid-December, we received notice that a Community Gaming Grant was approved by the Province of British Columbia. This grant will ensure the Cool It! team can continue to build on the following accomplishments from 2021:

  • The elementary program is on track to work with over 200 classes during the 2021/22 school year, up from 153 in 2020/21.
  • Every participating municipality in 2020/21 has renewed or increased funding for the elementary program.
  • The team recently completed the 3-year development and piloting of a Cool It! program for high school students, which included piloting 133 workshops and incorporating teacher feedback, translating the program into French, and creating a digital version of the 4-week Climate Challenge.

Additionally, the team representing BCSEA at the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) has been keeping busy through December and January. We currently have twelve proceedings in progress and four proceedings completed with BCUC decisions. We are awaiting a decision on the rates for BC Hydro’s public fast-charging stations, and look forward to two big, new proceedings soon to be underway: BC Hydro’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan and FortisBC Energy Inc.’s Renewable Natural Gas program revisions.

Lastly, one of our key projects from last year, modernizing our website and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, is near completion. With these upgrades, we have replaced an aging system and added a host of new features that will allow us to better coordinate our outreach and communication efforts, engage with more people on our social media channels, and leverage the experts in our networks.

As we move ahead into 2022, we have real cause for optimism here at the BCSEA. Our core initiatives are well-heeled, our infrastructure has never been in better shape, and our incredible volunteers continue to adapt as we affect positive change for BC’s energy future.

On behalf of the BCSEA board of directors, I extended my thanks to all members, donors, and volunteers that allow us to continue this important work.