News Release

New study - energy efficiency and conservation lead to 6,400 B.C. jobs a year

VANCOUVER – A study released today shows that BC Hydro's electricity conservation and efficiency activities will create 193,000 jobs in the province over 30 years – an average of 6,400 jobs annually. The findings are presented in the Power Smart Employment Impacts Study [PDF, 888 Kb] completed by G.E. Bridges and Associates, a B.C.-based independent research firm, and commissioned by BC Hydro.

"We already know that conservation is the most cost-effective way to meet and manage electricity demand, and I am pleased to see that B.C.'s efforts will also continue to create sustainable employment year-after-year," said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

The new Clean Energy Act has established a goal of meeting 66 per cent of the province's incremental electricity needs through efficiency and conservation by 2020. BC Hydro plans to achieve these savings through a combination of conservation-oriented rates, Power Smart programs for business, commercial and residential customers, and improved building codes and product standards.

"Our Power Smart approach is not just saving customers' energy and money, it's also creating jobs in communities all over the province," said Dave Cobb, President and CEO, BC Hydro. "Energy efficiency programs such as Power Smart help create a range of jobs and opportunities such as energy managers who are responsible for identifying and implementing conservation measures in workplaces. These programs also create jobs in retail, technology, construction, engineering and much more."

The study looked at the fiscal years 2008 through 2037 and considered employment impacts from BC Hydro's Power Smart programs, as well as from provincial and federal energy-efficiency codes and standards. It shows that BC Hydro's conservation initiatives will give rise to direct employment through the purchase of labour and materials, and indirect jobs from business activity in the supply chain and the spending of wages. Employment is also created by the spending and re-spending of energy bill savings.

The study also found that conservation investments create jobs that are geographically dispersed, spread over many small firms, and ongoing in nature. In addition to new jobs, BC Hydro's Power Smart programs are expected to save nearly 245,000 gigawatt hours over the 30-year study period or an average of 8,100 gigawatt hours annually through 2037. That's enough to power close to 720,000 homes every year.

Contact:

Simi Heer
BC Hydro, Media Relations
Phone: 604 623 3963