Individuals facing employment barriers gain new job skills from Terasen Gas' REnEW program

Training program's newest graduates ready for energy efficiency industry

SURREY, BC, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - The newest group of 11 students enrolled in Terasen Gas' Residential Energy and Efficiency Works (REnEW) training program, recently held in Kelowna, have now graduated. The program is funded by Terasen Gas, FortisBC, and BC Hydro, and helps program graduates develop skills needed to apply for work in the energy efficiency industry performing retrofit work, as well as entry-level trade/construction positions.

"The REnEW program was designed to help address the need for people skilled in the growing area of energy efficiency retrofits while at the same time, providing support for individuals striving to overcome employment barriers. As this program grows in strength, we can see positive effects both for graduates and the energy efficiency sector in British Columbia," said Tom Loski, Vice President, Customer Service at Terasen Gas and FortisBC.

In addition to learning about the fundamentals of energy efficiency technologies and the installation of these technologies in existing homes, program graduates received training in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and fall protection. They are now better equipped to work with organizations involved in the energy efficiency industry. 

"I would like to personally congratulate the individuals who have graduated from this program. I am excited about the fantastic work they will be doing in their communities to advance energy conservation and efficiency," said Lisa Coltart, BC Hydro's Executive Director of Power Smart and Customer Care.

The REnEW program will continue throughout 2011 and offer the course in B.C. communities where energy efficiency programs already exist. The goal of the program is to support the growing energy efficiency retrofit industry by creating a much-needed pool of skilled workers for this emerging field. Participants in this class of the REnEW program are selected by the John Howard Society.

"The John Howard Society is so pleased to be involved in this innovative training program which provides participants with much needed skills and experience to help them gain meaningful employment to escape poverty. The REnEW program is an example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together to achieve a common goal," said Shelley Cook, Executive Director of the John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan.

Further background on the REnEW program and application process is available by contacting the John Howard Society at 250-763-1331.

About Terasen Gas
Terasen Gas is composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc., Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., and Terasen Gas (Whistler) Inc. Terasen Gas is a leading integrated energy solutions provider, focused on the safe and reliable provision of natural gas, propane and alternative energy solutions. Terasen Gas serves approximately 939,000 residential and commercial customers in more than 125 B.C. communities. Terasen Gas employs more than 1,280 people in British Columbia and is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or

About FortisBC
FortisBC Inc. is an integrated regulated electric utility based in Kelowna, British Columbia. Focused on the safe delivery of reliable and cost-effective electricity, FortisBC serves approximately 160,000 customers directly and indirectly through wholesale utilities in the southern interior of B.C. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants and approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines. FortisBC employs over 500 people in British Columbia and is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or

About BC Hydro
BC Hydro is a commercial Crown corporation owned by the Province of British Columbia. BC Hydro is one of North America's leading providers of clean, renewable energy, and the largest electric utility in British Columbia, serving approximately 95 per cent of the province's population and 1.8 million customers. We are responsible for reliably generating between 43,000 and 54,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity. Electricity is delivered to customers through an interconnected system of 18,531 kilometres of transmission lines and 56,780 kilometres of distribution lines.

About the John Howard Society
The John Howard Society of Canada is an organization of provincial and territorial societies comprised of and governed by people whose goal is to understand and respond to social and health related problems with a focus on criminal justice. The John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan (JHSCSO) is a registered charity and an incorporated non-profit association that has been serving the Central Okanagan for over 50 years. JHSCSO has a strong community presence and well-established professional working relationships with the criminal justice system and the community.

SOURCE Terasen Gas

For further information:

Media contacts:

Marcus Wong
Corporate Communications Manager
Terasen Gas
Phone: 778-571-3263
Follow us at:

Marnie Douglas
Corporate Communications Manager
FortisBC Inc.
Phone: 250-469-8120

Simi Heer
Media Relations
BC Hydro
Phone: 604-623-3963
Cell: 604-375-2746

Shelley Cook, BA, MA
Executive Director
John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan
Phone: 250-763-1331

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