Scroll down for a variety of tips, how tos and inside information that can help you sharpen your fund-searching skills.
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Did you know that your energy project might make you a public utility?
If you’re considering an energy project that will allow you to sell light, heat, cold or power, you may be considered a public utility and regulated under B.C.’s Utilities Commission Act. Contact the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for more information.
The following are some definitions of terms used in the BC Community Climate Funding Guide.
Active Transportation: Refers to all human powered forms of travel. Walking and cycling are the most common, but running, scootering, skateboarding, in-line skating, using a wheelchair, paddling, skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding and using electric bicycles or scooters are all types of active transportation. Active transportation projects usually feature sidewalks, bicycle lanes, multi-use pathways, trails, lighting or pedestrian bridges that both promote and enhance active movement around communities and reduction of greenhouse gases from vehicles.
Asset Management: The responsible delivery, operation and management of infrastructure and services. Asset management ensures that communities build and maintain infrastructure to provide services and deliver them in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner.
Built Environment: The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks or green space to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply, or energy networks. This can include housing and other buildings within a community.
Circular Economy: In a circular economy resources are rarely thrown away, and instead are reused, recycled and reintroduced as new products, with a focus on clean technology and energy efficiency. The pollution prevention hierarchy supports a circular economy approach which can create jobs, promote innovation that provides a competitive advantage and help to protect people and the environment.
Clean Energy: Energy systems that release low greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate Adaptation: Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. It refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change. Actions / measures that reduce the negative impacts of climate change, while taking advantage of potential new opportunities.
Climate Mitigation: Climate change mitigation refers to efforts taken to reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases.
Economic Development: Programs, policies or activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community. Each community has its own opportunities, challenges, and priorities. Economic development planning must include the people who live and work in the community.
Emergency Mitigation, Preparedness, and Planning: Activities and risk management measures related to prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from an event that requires coordination of actions concerning persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of people, or to limit damage to property or the environment.
Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task. Improved energy efficiency helps B.C.’s communities save money, be more competitive and have a better quality of life. Energy efficiency is good for our natural environment and is one of the lowest-cost ways to reduce B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency applies to energy use in housing, buildings, or other infrastructure.
Environmental Stewardship: Refers to the responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices. Environmental stewardship considers and balances the interests of society, future generations, and other species, as well as of private needs.
Food Security: When all people have sufficient, safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life. Healthy food needs to be available and accessible so people can make healthy food choices.
Greenhouse gas: Emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
Impacts: Refers primarily to the effects of one or more hazards on natural and human systems. Impacts generally refer to effects on lives, livelihoods, health status, ecosystems, economic, social, and cultural assets, services (including environmental), and infrastructure due to the interaction of one or more hazard events occurring within a specific time period and the vulnerability of an exposed society or system.
Infrastructure: Refers to processes, systems, facilities, community buildings, technologies, networks, assets and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. Can include naturally occurring resources or engineered use of natural resources, to provide adaptation or mitigation services to the gradual and/or sudden impacts of climate change or natural hazards.
Innovation: The creation and adoption of a new idea, process or product that generates sustained social and economic value.
Mapping: Mapping is critical to many climate projects and may require a professional to capture data and translate into digital formats consistent with digital standards and requirements (i.e. Geographic Information Systems or GIS)
Monitoring: To observe and check the progress or quality of a policy, program, or condition over a period of time as a form of systematic review.
Renewable Energy: Energy sourced from electricity, biomass, biogas, geothermal heat, hydro, solar, ocean, wind or any other prescribed renewable resource.
Risk Assessment: The overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation.
Sustainable Transportation: A system that helps get people out of their cars and that is accessible for everyone, regardless of age, ability, ethnicity or gender and provides transportation options that are convenient, available and affordable.
Waste Reduction: Activities relating to recycling resources and eliminating disposable products to conserve valuable landfill space and to significantly reduce overall solid waste-related emissions, e.g. emissions generated from raw materials processing, manufacturing, hauling of waste, and potentially from incineration.
Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV): A ZEV is a vehicle propelled by electricity or hydrogen and emits no greenhouse gases while the motor vehicle is being operated.
Other agencies have also taken on the task of compiling funding information. Visit some of the sites below to identify other funding opportunities for your community.
- BC Government Economic Development Funding & Grants (searchable grants database)
- Canadian Federal Government – Climate Change Funding Programs
- Canadian Federal Government – Environment and Climate Change Funding Programs
- CivicInfo BC (searchable grants database)
- Community Energy Association funding guide for community energy and climate change initiatives
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities Funding Opportunities
- Natural Resource Canada Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs in Canada (searchable grants database)
- ClimateReadyBC Resource Catalogue
- Empower Me: Resources and support is available to navigate the Clean BC Better Homes website and programming in Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi or Farsi.
- Energy Coach Services: a free coaching service for homeowners and commercial building owners and managers in British Columbia. Energy Coaches are trained energy efficiency specialists who provide building-science based information about the options and opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of your home or building.
- Indigenous Community Energy Coach: free energy coaching services to support Indigenous communities wanting to take advantage of the CleanBC Indigenous Community Heat Pump Incentive and related energy efficiency offers.
- ZEV Fleet Advisors: The ZEV Fleet Advisor will provide expert support to fleets at no cost in the form of consultation, education, and advice.
- BC Climate Map: A tool for visualization and data access from UBC.
- Canadian Centre for Climate Services: Provides access to climate information, delivers climate services driven by user needs, builds local capacity, and offers training and support.
- Climate Atlas of Canada: National climate data portal offering a wide range of short videos and articles on climate impacts and action.
- Climate Data Canada: Provides high resolution climate data to inform planning and decision making.
- Community energy and emissions inventory: The Province provides an inventory of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting indicators at the community level.
- PCIC Data Portal: This data page makes the data that PCIC collects and produces publicly available with an open license, including BC Station Data, High-Resolution Climatology and Downscaled Climate Scenarios.
- Provincial greenhouse gas inventory: The Province annually releases a provincial greenhouse gas inventory.
Looking to increase your clean energy and climate adaptation savvy? Want to connect with like-minded communities or talk to an expert? Check out some of the following resources and references.
- Aboriginal Housing Management Association Energy and Sustainability Resources: Provides information and resources to support energy-efficient buildings and information and resources to support the management of indoor air-quality, landscaping, parking, waste, and water in honor of the Seventh Generation Principle.
- Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT): Provides resources and publications addressing leading climate change issues and identifying opportunities for sustainable adaptation.
- BC Hydro Lighting Calculator and Reference Guide: Provides a new construction program lighting calculator version (an Excel spreadsheet) that estimates potential electrical demand and energy savings of lighting systems for projects.
- British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC): Responsible for regulating BC’s energy utilities and the reliability of the electrical transmission grid.
- Climate Action Toolkit for Local Governments: Provides the latest news, best practices, practical advice, information, and strategic guidance to help BC local governments successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, strengthen their communities.
- Community Energy Association (CEA): Produces publications to guide bold community climate action and has a library of multimedia resources available including webinar recordings, infographics and workshop presentations. Search for keywords or browse resources by topic area.
- CEA Community Action Planner: A tool for BC local governments to explore community-wide climate actions.
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities: Provides reports, toolkits, recommendations and other resources designed to address climate related community challenges.
- Fraser Basin Council Retooling for Climate Change: Provides resources to support communities, the public sector and the private sector in BC in preparing for climate change.
- ICLEI Canada: Provides programs, tools, resources and events to support local government action on climate adaptation and mitigation. Check out the adaptation library.
- Indigenous Clean Energy Network: Resources, webinars and other information to advance Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s energy futures economy through Indigenous leadership, and broad-based collaboration with energy companies, utilities, governments, development firms, cleantech innovators, academic sector, and capital markets.
- Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS): Provides research and resources focused on positive approaches to mitigation and adaptation.