Program from FortisBC and BC Hydro trains workers specializing in energy
SURREY, BC, June 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Equipped with new skills in energy
efficient construction and retro-fitting, 11 participants in the
Residential Energy Efficiency Works (REnEW) training program, funded by
FortisBC and BC Hydro, have now graduated and have been equipped with
new skills to pursue opportunities in this growing sector.
The students completed renovations and energy upgrades to an
over-70-year-old heritage home in Kelowna that provides housing to
marginalized low-income individuals and seniors. While on the verge of
dilapidation and becoming ever-more expensive to operate, the extensive
renovations, including upgrades to drafty windows, outdated insulation,
an antique furnace and creaky doors, made the home a much more
"This program is designed to prepare graduates for a new career in
energy efficiency and conservation," said Doug Stout, vice-president of
energy solutions and external relations FortisBC. "On behalf of
FortisBC, I'd like to thank them for the work they will be doing, and
we look forward to hearing about their successes."
"I would like to personally congratulate the REnEW program graduates for
their achievement. The participants know how to be smart with power and
also help others do the same. Their understanding of energy efficiency
and conservation will help to improve their communities and British
Columbia overall," Lisa Coltart, Executive Director of Power Smart and
Customer Care, BC Hydro.
Launched in 2010, the REnEW program has been held in several communities
around the province including Vancouver, Chilliwack, Williams Lake,
Prince George, and Kelowna. Participants learn hands-on job skills,
such as the fundamentals of energy efficiency, installation of energy
saving technologies, first aid and fall protection, all with the intent
of preparing them to find employment in the energy efficiency
industry. Over the past three years, 104 participants have graduated
from the program and most are now either working or furthering their
"REnEW is a program that helps society two-fold by not only providing
individuals with the skills they need to gain employment but by helping
grow the skill-base in the environmental construction sector," said
Shelley Cook, Executive Director of John Howard Society of BC. "John
Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan is proud to once again
be part of this innovative and unique program made possible by FortisBC
and BC Hydro."
"The REnEW program opened my eyes to the world of energy efficient
construction," said participant Matthew Nutting. "Many homes are not
running as efficiently as they can, and a lot of energy is wasted. Now
I know how to fix these problems for homeowners."
The REnEW program supports 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 were
selected by the John Howard Society.
For background on the REnEW program contact FortisBC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fortisbc.com/renew.
Photos from the graduation are available to media on request.
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 2,200 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 www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
About BC Hydro
BC Hydro has been providing clean, reliable power to British Columbians
for more than 50 years while maintaining among the lowest rates in
North America. BC Hydro is a provincial Crown corporation that serves
1.9 million customers and invests in the electrical system and in
energy conservation to deliver a safe and reliable supply of
electricity for today's customers and for generations to come.
For further information:
Corporate Communications Advisor