FortisBC teams up with Business Improvement Areas of B.C. to put on a sweater and "Turn Down the Heat"

Challenge encourages energy conservation and donations of warm sweaters for charity

SURREY, BC, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - FortisBC and the Business Improvement Areas of B.C. (BIABC) are teaming up for the first time to promote energy conservation during "Turn Down The Heat Week", February 2 to 9. Participating businesses in 20 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) will turn down the heat at work and at home and wear sweaters to help promote energy conservation. This inaugural event is a collaboration between FortisBC and BIABC with the enthusiastic support of 20 Business Improvement Associations from Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver, and the Interior.

"FortisBC encourages a culture of energy efficiency and conservation in the workplace and in the home," said Doug Stout, vice president of energy solutions and external relations at FortisBC. "We welcome supporting the Business Improvement Areas in this challenge and encourage our employees and customers to get involved."

Local BIAs will also collect donations of sweaters and other warm clothing with a combined goal of 2,500 sweaters from participating BIA communities. For its part, FortisBC will be challenging its employees to collect donations of gently used or new sweaters for local organizations who will give the sweaters to those in need.

"The objective of "Turn Down the Heat Week" is to make everyone more aware of energy consumption - and what can be done to reduce it - while collecting sweaters for those in our communities who can really use them, said Ken Kelly, Chair of the BIABC. "This is another example of downtowns and major commercial centers in the province reinforcing the sense of community between businesses and residents. We appreciate FortisBC supporting our desire to emphasize the importance of living our lives differently, as businesses and as community."

Each business will be taking a slightly different approach to the challenge during "Turn Down the Heat Week". Some will offer sales on sweaters or on hot drinks; some will hand out flyers about energy efficiency; and some will find creative ways to collect warm clothes for local charities.  Each BIA will find a different local social service provider to accept the clothing donations during or at the end of the event.  During this week as well, FortisBC will be encouraging customers to turn down the heat and put on a sweater. Customers will be asked to tweet FortisBC a photo of them in their cozy sweater for a chance to win a $200 gift card.

The mission of the Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia (BIABC) is to demonstrate leadership that will champion strong, vibrant, and successful downtowns, main streets, and commercial districts throughout British Columbia.  BIABC represents 55 BIAs and 60,000 businesses throughout B.C.

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 47,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or


The following Business Improvement Associations will be participating in "Turn Down the Heat Week" in their respective communities February 2 - 9. Activities at the individual merchants will vary from sales of warm beverages and warm clothing, to challenging neighbouring businesses to collect a minimum number of sweaters to be donated to local charities. Businesses will be encouraged to tell their customers and clients that they are supporting energy conservation by turning down the heat on their thermostat, wearing sweaters to work, and collecting warm clothing for charity.

  • Abbotsford Downtown Business Association
  • Collingwood Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Langley Merchants Association
  • Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Nanaimo Partnership
  • Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Penticton Association
  • Downtown Victoria Business Association
  • Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association
  • Hastings North Business Improvement Association
  • Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association
  • Point Grey Village Business Improvement Association
  • Sechelt Business Improvement Association
  • South Hill (Fraser Street) Business Association
  • Strathcona Business Improvement Association
  • Uptown Rutland Business Improvement Association.
  • West Broadway Business Improvement Association
  • Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Association



For further information:

Tracy Tang
Corporate Communications Advisor
Phone: 604-592-7632

Ken Kelly
Downtown Victoria Business Improvement Association
Phone: 250-386-2239

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