Building Magazine


$22 million for energy efficiency retrofits in British Columbia

British Columbia is investing almost $22 million for 74 energy efficiency retrofit projects in schools, colleges, hospitals, social housing, Crown buildings and other government buildings across the province under the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA). 


“The projects will save 8,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 21.4 gigawatt hours of electricity a year – enough to power almost 2,000 homes – while saving taxpayers $3.5 million a year,” said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld. “By improving the energy efficiency of public sector buildings, we are leading the way to meeting our goals for a carbon-neutral government by 2010 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2020.”


The $21.8 million in project funding is the first dedicated portion of the $75 million in capital funding to retrofit existing provincial public sector buildings pledged in the Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy (EEBS) announced in May 2008.


The 74 projects include:

  • $5 million at the University of Northern BC for a biomass conversion project
  • $1,579,505 at Prince George Regional Hospital for lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) retrofits
  • $404,192 at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops for lighting retrofits
  • $657,787 at Ted Kuhn 1 in Surrey for lighting, boilers, HVAC, and other retrofits
  • $415,000 at BC Children and Women’s Hospital for lighting and mechanical retrofits
  • $543,724 at Victoria General Hospital for lighting retrofits
  • $1.8 million for 28 K-12 school retrofits around the province

In November 2007, the Province and BC Hydro signed the agreement to significantly decrease electricity consumption across more than 6,500 public sector buildings in British Columbia – including provincial government office buildings, Crown corporations, schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and social housing. Through the agreement, 65 per cent of the public sector’s future incremental power needs will be met through conservation.


“BC Hydro is delighted to partner with the provincial government to help make B.C. a showcase for energy efficiency,” said Bob Elton, BC Hydro’s president and chief executive officer. “Everyone who uses a public building – from students to hospital workers to residents in social housing – will be able to take pride in being part of this province wide conservation effort.”


The agreement includes ambitious goals to reduce electricity consumption in existing provincial buildings by five per cent from the 2006 baseline by 2011, 14 per cent by 2016, and 20 per cent by 2020. The net savings by 2020 is estimated to be 342 GWh of electricity – enough to power more than 31,000 households.


A backgrounder listing PSECA projects by region is available online at:

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