Skip to content

CBT funding supports Kootenay energy efficiency projects, EV purchases

Creston Valley Gleaners Society is facing climate change with support from Columbia Basin Trust. Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust.

The Columbia Basin Trust is supporting 29 non-profit organizations in the region that are undertaking projects to reduce energy use, lower greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Nearly $2 million is being granted out through the Trust’s Sustainable, Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience (SMART) stream, that will be used for operational or infrastructure upgrades, such as installing solar panels or heat pumps, or adding building installation, or purchasing electric vehicles and charging stations.

“Non-profit organizations hold important roles when it comes to well-being in the region, from serving vulnerable people to acting as stewards of the natural environment,” said Ulli Mueller, Senior Manager, Columbia Basin Trust. “By making operational changes and infrastructure upgrades non-profits around the Basin will realize energy-savings for years to come while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming more resilient to climate change.”

The SMART funding stream is supporting a number of projects and initiatives.

In Creston, the Creston Valley Gleaners Society is getting $90,000 to install solar panels on the Creston Food Bank building.

“The Gleaners organization uses considerable electricity to be able to carry out its services,” said Lane Hutton, Vice-President, on behalf of the Gleaners Board. “The solar power system will reduce those costs and allow Gleaners to contribute even more to the needs of the community, having an impact far beyond just the organization itself. It will be an added bonus to demonstrate the use of clean energy technology and share this knowledge with other organizations who may be looking to do the same.”

In ʔaq̓ am, the CBT is providing $377,990 for the same purpose, with solar panels to be installed on various community buildings. ʔaq̓ am is also receiving $181,500 to purchase two electric vehicles and install two charging stations.

Two organizations in Cranbrook are receiving electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Cranbrook and Region Tourism Society is receiving $44,040 for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for staff use, while NEXUS Community Support Society is also receiving $53,835 to purchase an electric vehicle and charging station.

In Baynes Lake, the Baynes Lake Community Society is receiving $111,000 for replacing the siding, windows and exterior doors to improve heat and cooling efficiency and fire resiliency at the Baynes Lake Community Hall.

“The hall and grounds serve as an anchor in the community, positively influencing health and social well-being,” said Treanne See, society member. “Replacing the aging building envelope will make our infrastructure more resilient, ensuring the facility is viable going forward while reducing both heating and cooling costs, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Fernie Heritage Trust Society is receiving $60,000 to add high-efficiency storm windows to existing single-glass heritage windows, as well as adding LED lighting and installing fans at the Knox Building.

Funding for projects and initiatives was also distributed throughout the Columbia Basin in places such as Nelson, Kaslo, Revelstoke, Rossland and more.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
Read more