Energy diet kicks off in East Kootenay

Cranbrook's Rotary Park hosted the launch of the energy diet, to help homeowners save money on energy

The East Kootenay Energy Diet is officially launched at Rotary Park in Cranbrook on Friday

The East Kootenay Energy Diet is officially launched at Rotary Park in Cranbrook on Friday

The Community Energy Association officially kicked off the East Kootenay Energy Diet on Friday in Cranbrook.

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, was joined by Mayor Wayne Stetski and representatives from the Regional District of East Kootenay, FortisBC, B.C. Hydro and local credit unions.

Megan Lohman,the community energy manager from the energy association, said the program makes it easy for homeowners to save money by improving the efficiency of their home.

“The program is set up to help homeowners access energy audits and assessments at a reduced price,” Lohman said. “We’ll also be working with local contractors, businesses and tradespeople.”

Fortis and B.C. Hydro were at the event to give information on the specific rebates and incentives that are available through them.

Lohman said the participation of local governments is also a big part of the program being a success.

“All of the local governments within the East Kootenay and the rural area directors have been very, very supportive,” she said, adding that the District of Sparwood, City of Fernie and the rural area directors for the RDEK have decided to contribute $50 to energy assessments in their communities.

“So what that means, for a $90 to $100 audit price, they will essentially be cutting that in half.”

She said the assessments would typically cost closer to $300.

There will also be special loans available through East Kootenay Community Credit Union and Kootenay Savings, exclusively to energy diet participants.

Starting in September there will be community specific kick-offs for each community in the East Kootenay.

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski said conservation of energy is a priority for him as mayor, as well as the rest of council.

“We have four initiatives under way,” Stetski said.

One is the water conservation initiative that has reduced water consumption by 16 per cent in the past few years. It includes watering restrictions, rebates for low-flow toilets, a leak detection system, and a program that turns down the water pressure at night.

Another is the wood stove exchange program partnership with Wildsight.

Cranbrook is now also a solar community.

The City of Cranbrook has also hired a corporate energy manager to review the city’s buildings and the process that they do in Cranbrook from an energy perspective.

Stetski said the city is pleased to be partnering in the East Kootenay Energy Diet.

“I think it bodes very well for conservation in the City of Cranbrook and East Kootenay,” he said. “And the good news is you can also save money from your own pockets by participating.

RDEK board chair Rob Gay said that programs like this one usually take a while to get off the ground. “The problem with programs like this one is they are usually designed for the larger cities,” Gay said. “To do it in a place (where) we have people spread from Elkford to Spillimacheen, it’s a little bit harder. But that’s what we’ve done.”

He said that the various groups and municipalities have collaborated to get this far and now it’s up to the residents to take advantage of the program.

B.C. Hydro doesn’t typically partner with smaller communities on these sorts of initiatives, and this is the first of its kind in the province.

Bill Bennett, recently appointed Minister of Energy and Mines, said that B.C. Hydro has to invest about $2 billion a year into aging dams and other energy infrastructure.

“The job that Premier Christy Clark has given me is to make sure that Hydro is able to continue to make those investments, because it is an investment into the future of our economy, but at the same time try to keep the increase in rates down as much as possible.”

Bennett said that in the Clean Energy Act that the B.C. Liberals passed in 2007, conservation is looked at as a new form of energy.

“We think that we have to focus hard on conservation and find that electricity, instead of going out and spending that money,” he said. “This program fits into that context.”

For more info on the diet go to

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read