Partnering for climate action
We’re playing an important role in helping British Columbia move to a low carbon, renewable energy future. We’re providing energy solutions to our customers and communities—partnering with local governments, regional districts and other public sector organizations to help them reach their climate action goals.
As we continue to develop Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for our customers, adding clean-burning hydrogen to our natural gas supply can help reduce B.C.'s carbon emissions. Injecting hydrogen into our system may also be an effective means of storing renewable power—such as hydroelectric, solar and wind—through power-to-gas, which is the process of converting electric power into carbon-neutral hydrogen.
We’ve partnered with Lonsdale Energy Corporation to determine the feasibility of injecting hydrogen into the natural gas system in North Vancouver. This project could help pave the way to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all of the communities we serve.
B.C. Energy Step Code
B.C.’s Energy Step Code is a provincial standard to drive adoption of high performing, energy efficient buildings that go beyond the base B.C. building code. The Step Code establishes a set of incremental building performance steps, which local governments can use to encourage or require construction of new energy-efficient buildings. As a member of the multi-stakeholder Energy Step Code Council, FortisBC is working to provide training, education and awareness to achieve highly efficient new buildings in B.C. We also provide rebates through our New Home Program to support the construction of high-performance, energy efficient and comfortable homes.
Working with the City of Kelowna, we helped develop an Energy Step Code implementation plan, including a workshop to educate and train the builder community on the incremental requirements of building to the code. We’re supporting additional workshops to educate stakeholders on best practices for building a more efficient building envelope in the Regional District of Central Kootenay and City of Surrey, among other communities.
Our community engagement campaigns focus on increasing energy understanding, boosting energy conservation behaviour and building a broad awareness of FortisBC’s rebates for energy efficiency and conservation activities. We encourage residents and municipal leaders to become energy champions by making a behavioural pledge to reduce energy consumption.
With our support, the City of Kamloops has undertaken multiple initiatives to help residents and businesses reduce their GHG emissions. These initiatives include hosting community energy efficiency block parties and mail campaigns, and encouraging property owners to visit the BC Home Energy Coach website to learn about energy-saving advice and utility incentive programs. The City of Surrey is increasing participation in our Conservation and Energy Management programs—up by 600 per cent in the Rental Apartment Efficiency Program since 2017. We’re also working with the District of Saanich and City of Victoria on a regional approach to promoting our energy-saving programs that support income-qualified customers.
Electric vehicle fueling infrastructure
Working with local governments and regional districts like the City of Kelowna, we're partnering with communities to facilitate increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as a clean transportation choice. In 2019, we’re planning the construction of 12 direct-current fast-charging (DCFC) stations throughout the southwestern interior of B.C. We’ve been recognized by the Canadian Electricity Association’s Centre of Excellence for our role in building, owning and operating EV fueling stations in the accelerate Kootenays initiative, a multi-stakeholder community-driven strategy to build a clean transportation network in the greater Columbia Basin. The accelerate Kootenays EV charging network will provide installation of 13 DCFC stations and 40 Level 2 charging stations, resulting in over 1,800 kilometers of connected EV travel throughout the region.
Low emissions trade corridors
We’re helping to develop transportation trade corridors that are competitive, safe and environmentally sustainable. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to B.C.’s emissions profile, producing nearly 40 per cent of the province’s total emissions. That means any improvements in the industry present an opportunity to achieve significant emissions reductions. Using liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel truck fleets and marine vessels showcases B.C.’s leadership on climate action while providing economic benefits for our local ports and tradespeople.
To increase the adoption of low emissions fuels for the marine transportation sector, we’re collaborating with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which is working to advance the Port of Vancouver’s readiness for LNG bunkering. We’re also exploring other opportunities to improve local air quality, like using compressed natural gas (CNG) in port trucking activities.