Who we are
The BC Sustainable Energy Association Victoria Chapter is dedicated to ensuring a renewable energy future. With an extensive member base across southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, we are a clear voice for progressive change in the region.
The Victoria Chapter seeks to educate and advocate on issues related to energy use, the reduction of GHG emissions, and solutions for transitioning to a non fossil-fuel economy. The Victoria Chapter is one of the oldest and most active chapters of the BCSEA, with an extensive history and varied member base, consisting of retirees, students, sustainable energy industry members and members of government. We are excited about the bright future that we believe is coming to British Columbia, and want to ensure it is one powered by renewable energy.
We are environmentally minded people who are excited about the sustainable future we believe is possible for British Columbia and would like you to join us!
If you haven’t already, check out and like our Victoria Chapter Facebook page.
What we do
The BCSEA Victoria Chapter partners with like-minded organizations, faith based groups, NGOs and businesses to collaborate on renewable energy projects and reach the largest audience possible. We undertake regular events; engaging the public in education of renewable energy solutions, low-carbon transportation and the opportunities to lead a greener, cleaner lifestyle.
We advocate for strong action on climate change and work to build broad support for a transition to a sustainable future for BC. This includes engaging with government, politicians, and the public.
When we meet
Our Steering Committee meets on the fourth Monday of each month. If you would like to attend a meeting, please contact Paul Rasmussen or Tom Hackney at mailto:email@example.com. We are always looking for people who want to get involved.
We have three or four Pub Nights each year, open to all, but you need to be on the Victoria Chapter membership list to hear about it – so think about joining our mailing list or even better becoming a BCSEA member!
We are always looking for volunteers to help us with our various projects. To see what we are looking for check out our Volunteer Page.
Steering Committee Openings
We are currently looking for new Steering Committee members. If interested, please look at our Volunteer Page.
Kira Gill-Maher – Welcome to Our Chapter Steering Committee
The Victoria Chapter is pleased to welcome Kira Gill-Maher as its latest steering committee member.
Recently graduated from Vancouver Island University’s Master of Community Planning, Kira has a strong enthusiasm for how we can plan for low carbon and resilient communities. Now working in the field of local government climate action, she is thrilled to also have the opportunity to support community-based sustainable energy initiatives and programming through the BCSEA. Before joining our Steering Committee, Kira had been working with us as a volunteer to re-start our Victoria Chapter Instagram account.
Personal Actions Page
During the Covid-19 pandemic the Victoria Chapter is still trying to keep active with educating Victorians and British Columbians about the climate crisis. One of our latest initiatives has been to create a chart of personal actions that can be taken and what their GHG impact might be compared to other actions. Check it out here!
Letters and sign ons by our Chapter
The Victoria Chapter sometimes send letters to government agencies or other organizations to ask them to take more aggresive action to cut greenhous gas emissions, or to support actions that we believe will help reduce emissions and make BC more sustainable. We are also sometimes asked to sign-on to letters or statements with similar intent originating from other organizations. Before signing a statement not originating with us, we always work with the other organizations to make sure that their statements are supportable, accurate, and not in conflict with positions taken by the BCSEA or the Victoria Chapter. It is not unusual for us to request changes in the text of the statement before we will sign on. To see what letters we have sent and statements we have signed onto recently and to download copies of our these statements if interested click here.
Solar on a Strata blog: Several years ago Victoria Chapter Steering Committee member Bruce Mackenzie worked with his strata council to arrange to put photovoltaic solar panels on the strata roof. Bruce has an ongoing blog about this starting here. The latest update is here.
100% Renewable Energy by 2050 Initiative
Our biggest and most exciting initiative is to persuade all municipalities on southern Vancouver Island to commit to 100% Renewable Energy (“100% RE”) by 2050 — and we mean ALL energy, not just municipal operations!
100% RE by 2050 is growing around the world, with cities often leading. See GO 100% Renewable Energy or Simon Fraser University’s Renewable Cities. Vancouver committed to this target in 2015, as did Victoria in August 2016 and the District of Saanich in October 2017.
The Chapter’s 100% RE work included a 100% RE “Pathway” report for the District of Saanich. We presented this to the public at our Big Town Hall in Saanich’s Commonwealth Centre, and in March 2017, working with the Climate Issues Collaborative, we presented it to Saanich Council, asking Council to adopt the 100% RE target. Saanich Council did so in October 2017.
Our next steps:
- Continue to engage local government, allies and the public in Saanich and Victoria on developing and implementing their 100% RE plans.
- Continue to foster the public discussion of sustainability and 100% RE;
- More research on 100% RE here and around the world;
- Reach out to other municipalities in southern Vancouver Island.
- Stay tuned for more news – or drop us a line and volunteer to help.
Youth Involvement Pilot Project
The Youth Involvement Pilot Project is a new initiative that the BCSEA Victoria Chapter is pioneering.
Youths in grades nine to twelve are concerned for their futures and what they can do to prevent global warming by reducing their carbon footprint. These students may be involved in their school’s Environmental Club and also involved in their community (ie. Recycling, Community Garden, Food Bank, etc. High school counselors are often overworked with student course corrections, student mental health issues, etc. and information about future Renewable Energy jobs is often non-existent or out-of-date from Job Counselors. The BCSEA Victoria Chapter believes we could provide better information to both students and Career Counselors.
Providing more current Renewable Energy information could stimulate discussion within students’ schools, among their parents (Parents Advisory Council), and their communities. Such actions could also help boost the BCSEA youth membership, adding new energy for future projects. And it could help our BCSEA business members find interested students for summer employment opportunities and/or post-secondary work experiences.
Do you have some knowledge about an area of renewable energy that you’d like to share with high school students? Or is your business interested in hiring a student for renewable energy-related project? If you are interested, please let us know!