First ever "Turn Down the Heat Week" doubles donation target

FortisBC and Business Improvement Areas of B.C. team up to donate sweaters and raise awareness of energy efficiency

SURREY, BC, Feb. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - FortisBC and the Business Improvement Areas of B.C. have tallied their results from the first-ever "Turn Down the Heat Week." From February 2 to 9, the organizations encouraged British Columbians to turn down the heat and donate warm clothing to those in need. Over 5,000 sweaters - double the goal of 2,500 - were collected by local businesses and FortisBC employees.

"BIABC and its members should be commended for their great effort," said Doug Stout, vice president of energy solutions and external relations with FortisBC. "Equally, FortisBC employees stepped up across British Columbia to collect and donate sweaters, while asking customers to make small, but important, changes regarding energy use."

Participating businesses in 16 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) from Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver, and the Interior rallied customers, fellow businesses, and municipalities to turn down the thermostat and find creative ways to raise awareness of energy conservation. Some businesses held sales of hot drinks, warm clothing, scarves and even provided incentives of hot chocolate in exchange for sweater donations.

"We are overwhelmed by the positive response to '"Turn Down the Heat Week" and are particularly appreciative of all of the businesses  which turned down their thermostats and jumped in to collect this amazing number of sweaters," said Ken Kelly, Chair of BIABC and General Manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. "Business improvement associations in our province are well-known for their engagement in their communities and this campaign has really been a great demonstration of this."

FortisBC employees from 10 locations across the province collected 300 sweaters for donation to local community organizations.

"This campaign not only gave us an opportunity to save energy, give to charity and promote business during a typically slow time, but it had value to our downtown businesses, knowing that they were participating with other communities across B.C.," said Corry Hostetter, General Manager of the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, which contributed an amazing 926 sweaters to Aids Vancouver Island

"Not only were we very excited to be part of this campaign but City Council proclaimed February 2 to 9 "Turn Down the Heat Week" in the City of Williams Lake in an effort to get more people thinking about energy conservation," said Judy O'Neill, Executive Director of the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Association, which gathered up a remarkable 555 sweaters for the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre & Canadian Mental Health Association.

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. A vibrant and thriving downtown commercial area is the barometer of a healthy community. BIABC represents 55 BIA's 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 (BIAs) participated in "Turn Down the Heat Week":

  • Abbotsford Downtown Business Association
  • Collingwood Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Courtenay BIA
  • Downtown Langley Business Association
  • Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association
  • Downtown Nanaimo BIA
  • Downtown Penticton
  • Downtown Victoria Business Improvement Association
  • Hastings North BIA
  • Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association
  • Point Grey Village BIA
  • Sechelt Downtown Business Association
  • South Hill (Fraser Street) Business Association
  • West Broadway BIA
  • Williams Lake BIA

To access high resolution images from "Turn Down the Heat Week" follow this link:



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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