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NEWS RELEASE · 8th June 2010
Ministry of Environment
Schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and Crown corporations will receive $25 million in energy retrofit investments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution, John Yap, Minister of State for Climate Action announced today.

"We know this investment will immediately translate into a lower energy footprint for public sector buildings, less carbon pollution, and savings to taxpayers," said Yap. "Equally important, these investments will create new jobs across the province and spur public sector organizations and B.C. businesses to find innovative ways to tackle climate change."

In 2007, the Province created the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement in Partnership with BC Hydro. Budget 2008 committed $75 million over three years to help public sector organizations. To date, achievements include annual energy cost savings of close to $7.4 million, greenhouse gas reductions of over 18,700 tonnes and conservation of 38.6 GWh of electricity.

"Investing in energy efficiency has many long term pay backs," said David Cobb, president and CEO, BC Hydro. "Not only do customers reduce operating costs, but energy efficiency and conservation also create jobs. In fact, our Power Smart initiatives will create 193,000 jobs in the province over 30 years."

This $25 investment will be spread across four categories:

* $6 million in K-12 schools throughout the province for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) retrofits.
* $2 million for solar thermal projects to fund solar hot water and air systems, also supporting the 100,000 solar roof initiative.
* $12 million for district energy systems.
* $5 million for an open call for proposals to all provincial public sector organizations, similar to those in the first two years of the program.

Today, Yap also welcomed Terasen Gas as a new partner in public sector energy conservation. The new agreement will leverage Terasen's Energy Efficiency and Conservation program, help build energy efficiency capacity across the public sector and provide additional dollars to help public sector organizations invest in their building portfolios.

"As one of the first utility companies in Canada to include alternative energy solutions as part of its regulated energy service offerings, Terasen Gas is proud to be able to partner with the Province to help create a culture of conservation," said Doug Stout, vice president, marketing and business development, Terasen Gas. "We are committed to the sustainable and environmentally sound use of gas. Throughour existing programs, we will be helping customers eliminate more than 775,000 tonnes of GHGs, saving a total of 15.5 million gigajoules - enough natural gas for about 155,000homes annually."

This funding will leverage PSECA-partner BC Hydro's Power Smart program, in addition to incentives offered by new PSECA partner Terasen Gas.

The B.C. government is also committed to helping citizens across the province save energy. The LiveSmart BC Energy Incentive program helps build sustainable communities by rewarding smart choices to reduce energy consumption and by promoting investment in green business opportunities that help create new jobs in a low-carbon economy. To learn more, visit http://www.livesmartbc.ca/.

For more information on the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/mitigation/pseca.html.