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This newsletter provides information about CEA projects, events, and the networks it supports – all aimed at accelerating bold action from local governments and Indigenous communities related to climate and energy.

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This month:

It’s World EV Day on September 9 and we’re marking the occasion with some stories about how CEA is helping communities make the transition to zero-emission vehicles:

  • Rural Communities and the Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles

  • Accelerating Electric Mobility

  • CEA at Fully Charged Live

  • EV-Ready Bylaw Development

Also this month:

  • Local Government Climate Plans

  • CEA at UBCM

  • New Peer Networks for Local Government Officials

  • Don't Build New, Fix and Re-purpose What You Have

  • Supporting Training in Solar and EV Charging

  • CEA in the News

  • Welcome to CEA: Join us in welcoming these new staff 

  • Inspiration from Elsewhere: Maui

Charging Ahead: Rural Communities and the Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles

It’s no secret that EV adoption is higher in large cities than in rural areas. But why does it matter and what can be done about it? Check out this feature article produced by CEA that includes new statistics, the experiences of various communities and regions, and the importance of providing charging infrastructure as a precursor to EV adoption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.

Accelerating Community-based Electric Mobility 

While CEA has facilitated the installation of more than 200 EV charging ports over the last few years in small and mid-sized communities, many communities still have few public charging stations, low e-mobility adoption, and little local capacity for implementing solutions. 

In response, CEA has initiated an Electric Mobility Accelerator (EMA) program, which is providing five communities around BC with support and confidence to implement local projects. Smithers. Mackenzie, Vernon, Squamish, and Whistler are working together with CEA staff on projects related to charging infrastructure, micro-mobility and e-bike charging, incorporation of zero-emission vehicles into their fleets, and local bylaws to require new buildings to be EV-ready. BC Hydro has provided seed funding to the program, which also requires participating communities to allocate funding and staff time to local projects. 

EMA kicked off last month and will continue until the new year.

CEA at Fully Charged Live

A unique “festival of electrification” is coming to Vancouver this weekend and CEA will be there. Fully Charged Live will showcase electric vehicles of all sizes, offer home energy solutions, and present more than 50 panel discussions. CEA staff will speak at six of those sessions, more than any other non-profit organization attending Fully Charged. Join Danielle, Elisabeth, Maya, and Rob for discussions about electric vehicles in rural areas and cold climates, the best home energy options, the urgency of the climate emergency, and whether the move to electrified transportation will lead to more active forms of transportation.  


In addition to live events now being held around the world, Fully Charged produces YouTube videos and a popular podcast all focused on the transition to electrification.  


Incorporating EV Charging Capacity in New Buildings 


CEA is working with a dozen municipalities and regional districts around BC to help them ensure that new buildings in their communities are ready to accommodate on-site charging of electric vehicles. The group is creating a series of resources and materials that are being shared among the cohort participants to help them prepare Council reports and updates to relevant local bylaws. The information will subsequently be provided to other local governments eager to advance local EV-ready requirements for various types of new buildings. BC Hydro is supporting the facilitation of the cohort and the availability of technical experts. 


The “EV-Ready Cohort” is made up of members of an Electric Vehicles Peer Network, which is facilitated by CEA and includes more than 100 local government and First Nations community staff who work in concert with provincial government officials and representatives of energy utilities to accelerate the transition to electric transportation in communities.  


“I’ve never seen this level of interest from local governments in corporate climate plans”

Those are the words of CEA’s Peter Robinson when describing the current demand for reports that document the sources of local government corporate emissions and priorities for reducing them. If his statement seems hyperbolic, consider his experience: Peter worked on his first community emissions plan in 2010 and has since worked on more than 70 community and corporate emissions plans – more than half of all the energy and emissions plans that CEA has ever produced.   


Compared to community plans, which document energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for an entire community, corporate plans zero in on the operations of the local government itself. These plans assess civic buildings, other local infrastructure, and fleet vehicles, and provide suggestions for operational efficiencies, sources of external funding, and potential cost savings, along with the anticipated GHG reductions associated with various actions. Peter credits the Government of BC’s Local Government Climate Action Program for the renewed interest in corporate plans with GHG inventories, along with increasing evidence that actions to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions also provide operational savings for local governments and can attract external funding. At this moment, Peter and his CEA colleagues are producing seven corporate energy and emissions plans for municipalities and regional districts across BC, as well as three community energy and emissions plans. Contact CEA if you’re interested in getting an updated plan for your community.  




The Union of BC Municipalities convention later this month is the largest gathering of local government officials in BC, and with climate change now well-established as a big issue for every community, CEA will be on-site and connect attendees to various tools, resources, information, and examples of success.  

  • Government Officials lunch presented by CEA and the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council to foster dialogue on shared priorities for community sustainability, resilience, and prosperity. 
  • Open session on tools, resources, and funding available for local governments. CEA will provide information on its various programs designed to enhance capacity for local climate action – Monday, Sept 18, 2:15 to 4:15pm 
  • Climate & Energy Action Awards presentation. We announce the 2023 winners from among 25 nominations. Join us to recognize inspirational climate action – Wednesday, Sept 20, 4:15pm 
  • Reception celebrating local government climate leadership. Connect with others around BC during this social gathering at the Portside Pub – Wednesday, Sept 20, 6:00 to 8:00pm. Register to attend

CEA will also have a booth in the UBCM tradeshow. See you there. 


New Networks for Local Government Officials  


Community Buildings Retrofit Capacity Development Network – Through FCM’s Green Municipal Fund, CEA is collaborating with organizations across Canada to help local governments confidently retrofit civic buildings to optimize their energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and extend their service life. Sometimes, there’s a perception that it’s easier to build new than to renovate existing buildings so the network will provide an opportunity for local government staff to learn from each other and access specialized training related to retrofits and energy performance. For example, even before the network officially kicks off later this fall, the Green Municipal Fund and Climate Challenge Network are presenting a webinar on strategic energy performance management in municipal buildings. More tools and support are available on the Community Buildings Retrofit initiative website


Building Officials Peer Network – the adoption of a new BC building code and introduction of the Zero Carbon Step Code earlier this year are adding important new dimensions to the work of building officials. A new peer network will be a platform for sharing information about the new requirements and providing building officials with relevant training, all shaped by representatives of the Building Officials’ Association of BC. The new network is being facilitated by CEA and funded by BC Hydro. Interested? The first meeting will be October 4. Register today.   


Consider Keeping What You Have Before Demolishing and Building Something New


This sentiment recognizes that buildings have greenhouse gas emissions embodied in the materials that were used to construct them. Addressing emissions from the building sector, therefore, needs to recognize embodied emissions in addition to the operational emissions associated with heating and cooling. That’s the rationale behind an Embodied Emissions Peer Network, which is facilitated by CEA and brings together staff and elected officials from local governments and Indigenous communities eager to learn more about reducing construction waste and establishing local policies that will discourage demolition and encourage practices such as deconstruction, circularity, and relocation. The next meeting of the Embodied Emissions Peer Network is Monday, September 11 and will feature presentations focused on solutions and future policy opportunities from some of the leaders in this emerging sector. Interested? See the web page for more information or register now.


Training in Solar and EV Charging 


CEA and the College of the Rockies are collaborating to deliver Clean Energy courses this fall covering Solar PV Design and Installation and EV Charger Installation and Maintenance. Thanks to support from the three Kootenay regional districts and others, local residents can have a portion of their tuition fee covered by CEA’s Kootenay Clean Energy Transition (KCET) program. KCET is a multi-year project building awareness and workforce capacity for a low carbon and clean energy transition in the Kootenays.

CEA in the News 


Nanaimo Council’s recent decision to accelerate adoption of the zero carbon step code followed delegations from more than 20 organizations and residents. CEA’s Elisabeth Baudinaud, the senior lead for built environment initiatives, was among the presenters and brought perspectives from the two dozen community officials who are part of a CEA Zero Carbon Step Code Working Group. This group has been considering the introduction of the ZCSC, how it supports local climate action targets, and how local governments can be ready to provide education and consistent information to builders and developers. 


The most recent issue of “the premiere magazine for local government managers in BC”  features a deep dive on what different levels of government are doing to respond to climate change. CEA’s Tami Rothery and Rob van Adrichem are quoted and CEA initiatives such as the Northern BC Climate Action Network and Charge North are highlighted as examples of collaboration.

New CEA staff 


Join us in welcoming these people to the CEA team: 


Robbert Visscher, Director of Finance and Operations. Robbert joins CEA with expertise in non-profit finance and operations management, organizational development, and strategic planning after years of experience in cleantech, data analysis, and process automation. Robbert is originally from the Netherlands but has lived on the Sunshine Coast for the past 16 years.  

Laura Cooper, Facilitator - Relationships and Reconciliation Service Area. Laura is an environmental and medical anthropologist with experience as a professor, researcher, and Dean, and deep interest in the relationship between people, the land, and spiritual practices in areas where the land has been degraded through economic development, climate change, genocide and war. 

Sunshine Jarvis, Project Coordinator - Corporate Services. Sunshine lives in Chilliwack and brings experience in project management, budgeting, finance, and organizational systems to her new role at CEA. Sunshine will initially be supporting the Transportation Service Area, assisting with initiatives to reduce transportation-related emissions in municipalities and Indigenous communities.

Inspiration from Elsewhere – Maui  

Wildfires have made this a summer to remember, for all the wrong reasons. From Lahaina, a story about the little things that can be done to make homes a little more resilient. Maybe just resilient-enough.