John Horgan’s energy and jobs plan for BC


PowerBC is a bold, progressive plan for the future of BC energy, with a strong focus on jobs, from John Horgan and BC’s New Democrat Official Opposition. Through conservation, investment and innovation, Power BC will:

John Horgan admires the view from SunMine Solar Farms in Kimberley

  • protect BC Hydro customers from runaway bills
  • produce good-paying jobs close to home, in every community in British Columbia
  • protect our farmland and natural environment
  • respect First Nations land title
  • launch careers in clean energy and retrofit construction, maintenance, manufacturing, and high-tech engineering
  • ensure B.C. has access to clean and affordable electricity for generations to come

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Power BC has four components:

pub buildings

1. Retrofit public buildings

B.C. taxpayers pay more than $400 million in energy costs in the public sector every year. We know we can do better – pilot programs in our schools and hospitals have led the way. A serious long-term commitment to energy efficiency in all our public buildings will save money, will reduce overall demand for energy, and create good-paying jobs and apprenticeships in every community in British Columbia.

John Horgan charges an electric car in Fernie

And for every dollar spent, retrofits create twice as many jobs as dam construction. (BC Stats) Pressing ahead with this work will support badly-needed seismic upgrades for BC’s high risk schools.

EXAMPLE: Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows school district calculated that just by replacing aging light fixtures and ballasts with modern technology, the district will save schools more than $280,000 every year.  (SD42 Energy Management Plan 2015-2019)

retrofit homes

2. Retrofit homes and businesses

John Horgan checks out the Cape Scott Wind Farm

John Horgan checks out the Cape Scott Wind Farm

The cheapest and greenest source of electricity is conserving what we already produce. Right across BC, aging and inefficient buildings are creating big Hydro bills, and driving up demand for electricity. By helping families and businesses replace wasteful equipment, seal leaks and install proper insulation, we can reduce individual Hydro bills, free up our existing generation capacity, and reduce climate changing emissions where oil or gas are used for heat.

Retrofitting homes and businesses will create good-paying jobs close to home, in literally every community in British Columbia. These are jobs for British Columbian tradespeople and apprentices, using materials and tools purchased in your community.

EXAMPLE: In an average detached single-family home, a retrofit can cut energy bills by up to 25%, a household savings of hundreds of dollars every year.

max hydro

3. Maximize existing hydroelectric dams

Across British Columbia, many of our dams are operating turbines and transformers that were designed in the 1950s.  Also, some dams are not even built out to full capacity. Simply by replacing aging machinery with new, high-efficiency technology and adding capacity, we can generate more electricity without flooding our farms and sensitive ecosystems or encroaching on First Nations land title.

MLAs Scott Fraser, Carole James, and George Heyman at W.A.C. Bennet Dam, Fort St John

MLAs Scott Fraser, Carole James, and George Heyman at W.A.C. Bennet Dam, Fort St John

EXAMPLE: Revelstoke Dam was built to house up to six turbines, but only five are being used today. Installing the sixth turbine in the Revelstoke Dam would generate 500 megawatts of new capacity and create 390 person-years of skilled trades employment. (BC Hydro Factsheet, June 2014)

invest clean energy

4. Invest in clean energy

Nations around the world are moving forward quickly with renewable energy technology.

Whether it’s wind, solar, battery technology or electric vehicles, the costs of these are dropping and demand is surging. British Columbia has tremendous
MLA Katrine Conroy at the SunMine Solar Farms in Kimberley

MLA Katrine Conroy at the SunMine Solar Farms in Kimberley

opportunity to produce renewable energy and export renewable energy technology. By providing investment and leadership, the Province of British Columbia can support our technology sector and foster the good-paying research, engineering and trades jobs of the future.

BC currently has four operating wind farms and many more are under construction or being considered for development. Projects such as Bear Mountain Wind near Dawson Creek and the Cape Scott Wind Farm near Port Hardy provide BC Hydro with important resources.  We will position B.C. to become a clean energy powerhouse by taking advantage of the more than 300 other promising wind sites, both inland and on the coast.

EXAMPLE: Endurance Wind builds wind turbines in Surrey, B.C., but instead of being used here, their products are mainly sold for export. Investing in new technology right here in B.C. will spur on this innovative sector.

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