Since the Comox Valley School District became involved in BC Hydro’s Energy Manager program in 2009, it has saved more than 2.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
“That’s the equivalent of about 255 Comox Valley homes, the amount of electricity they would use in a year,” BC Hydro senior key account manager Wayne Cousins told the Board of Education as he outlined the district’s success in energy conservation over the past few years.
“I have the pleasure of traveling all across the province and I meet with school districts on a regular basis, and not all of them have the same commitment and the same focus, and have had the same success that you have had in the Comox Valley.”
Cousins pointed to the development of a ‘conservation culture’ in the district, noting the board, senior administration, maintenance staff, teachers, students and parents have all worked together to promote energy conservation at Comox Valley school facilities.
He also highlighted a few of the many conservation projects completed over the years, such as the solar collector system at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School, solar panels at Huband Elementary School, and the redesigned marquee sign at Vanier, which uses energy-efficient lights and saves the district $600 per year in energy costs.
“Since 2009, your district uses 21 per cent less electricity than it did four years ago,” he continued. “You’ve avoided spending $450,000 on energy in that period of time.”
District energy conservation manager Fred McGregor retired last week, and Cousins noted McGregor’s energy conservation efforts — and hard work to obtain grant funding for conservation projects.
“As a result of Fred’s leadership … $1,635,000 has come into this district from organizations such as BC Hydro, Fortis, Natural Resources Canada, Solar BC and different government programs, because Fred and his team has gone out and found that money,” said Cousins, noting new technologies and innovative practices McGregor implemented in the Valley.
“The things you’re doing here in Courtenay/Comox are being copied by school districts all across the province, and that man over there has shared his expertise, he has mentored other energy managers, he has given his advice and his wisdom to other school districts.”
The room broke out in applause as McGregor accepted a plaque from Cousins as a token of appreciation from BC Hydro.
“Thank you all. It’s been my pleasure and I hope to leave a great legacy, I hope it carries on, with all of you helping,” said McGregor.