2016 Community Energy Conference & Social

 Opportunities for A Low-Carbon Future


April 23, 2016 – 9:30am – 6:00pm High School Multipurpose Room tickets are $15 in advance at Salt Spring Books, $20 at the door.

download the program here

John Farrell, Energy Democracy Director at the Institute of Local Self Reliance
Alex Love, General Manager of Nelson Hydro -Canada’s first Community Solar Garden
Alevtina Akbulatova, Net Metering, Business & Economic Development, BC Hydro

Learn the latest on the Community Solar movement as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for home, business and transportation in over 15 presentations and workshops

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Workshops Include:
  • Community Solar Regional Update 1 – Show and Tell  Presented by Kjell Liem, Salt Spring Community Energy Group. Inspired by T’Souke Nation’s visionary community solar panel installation, enabled by the improving economics of renewable energy, and fueled by friends and neighbors passionate about a healthy future for their children we will hear directly from the Community Solar activists from around the region. Workshop 1 will describe local projects & activities to date. (Each group will have 5 minutes to present).
  • Community Solar Regional Update 2 – Stepping into our Shared Future A panel discussion with regional leaders of the Community Solar movement: –there are shared aspirations and common barriers to the adoption of solar on community buildings and in local areas. Want to see a solar future in your community? This is the forum where that will be addressed
  • Rooftop Solar 101 – Presented by Simon Wheeler and Alevtina Akbulatova (BC Hydro) Thinking about solar? Attend this workshop to learn about how much sun we get and an introduction to solar energy for hot water and electricity generation on Salt Spring. The different types of solar equipment, the necessary precautions when buying and installing and a brief review of the financial aspects will also be covered. A representative from BC Hydro will talk about connecting your system to the grid (net metering), while electrical safety aspects will also be covered.
  • The Latest in Heat Pumps – Presented by Graham Outerbridge and Cathie Newman. Heat pumps can heat your home in winter and cool it in summer. Join us for a presentation on the suitability and efficiency of different types of heat pumps by local experts, and listen to the benefits from happy homeowner Cathy Newman. Learn about the different types, including ductless, and even models that hook into your radiant floor heating system to get the facts on how you too could save energy and money with a heat pump.
  • Net Metering with BC Hydro – Presented by Alevtina Akbulatova, Net Metering, Business & Economic Development, BC Hydro Connecting the energy produced by your solar array to BC Hydro is easywhen you know how. Bring your questions to the expert from BC Hydro as she explains how it works technically, and what’s required to get approval for connecting to BC Hydro’s grid. This session is appropriate for both residential and business customers wanting to install units generating up to 100 kW in capacity.
  • Electric Vehicles – Save Money, Energy, and Carbon – Presented by Julian Sales and Cameron Wall. An information workshop about electric vehicles. What are their advantages and shortcomings? How far do they go and how long to charge? What models are available? What do they cost? What about government rebates and low-interest loans?  What does the future hold for EVs? … A great opportunity to get more informed by two regional EV experts!
  • Electric Vehicle Charging – From Home Charging to Growing the Regional Network – Presented by Charlotte Argue (Fraser Basin Council), Jason Ware (Electrician) and Janet Clouston (SSI Chamber of Commerce). Moderator: Andrew HaighThis session will highlight existing Electric Vehicle (EV) programs and the outlook for regional, provincial and national charging networks to inform us on the growing transition from fossil fuel cars to electric vehicles. Followed by the basics of EV charging from home systems and the growing network of Level 2/DC Fast chargers. Installation of Level 2 chargers at home and businesses will also be featured, with advice on charger types, electrical code requirements, and cost-saving measures. B&B and other local business owners will learn about tourism benefits of EVs and available EV charger subsidies.
  • Greener Travel for Lower Carbon Footprints – Presented by David Denning. The Paris COP21 Agreement requires Canada to commit to keeping planetary temperature rise to less than 2°C. To do this, we must keep our greenhouse gas emissions within Canada’s Carbon Budget – a projected national carbon footprint that is our fair share of the world’s total carbon budget. This workshop will explore how travel contributes to our greenhouse gas emissions and will provide an up-to-date picture of ways to reduce our travel carbon footprints. Questions addressed will include: which airlines offer low-carbon flights, when is air travel better than land travel, and when will the world have sustainable low-carbon travel options?
  • Low-Carbon Subtropical Food Growing on Salt Spring – Really?Presented by Jane Squier. Jane Squier has pioneered sustainable agriculture on Salt Spring with her greenhouse production of Living Lettuce, beautiful basil, and more. In recent years, Jane has developed innovations for growing foods previously considered impossible to grow here. Jane will share her journey in sustainable agriculture, highlighting her work with small scale biogas production using farm waste, and high-efficiency wood gasification greenhouse heating. Jane will also conduct a post-conference (Sunday) tour of her greenhouse and innovative projects. Sign up at the Conference.
  • Year Round Harvest with Linda Gilkeson – Did you know that 40% of Salt Spring’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food? Most of it is due to transporting food from faraway places to our two local grocery stores. But you can eat more delicious nutritious food while lowering your carbon footprint at the same time. In this talk, Linda Gilkeson will cover crops and planting schedules for year round harvests along with low maintenance tips for growing the most food in the space you have.
  • Awesome E-Bikes – an Introduction – Presented by David Elderton, owner of Hill Eater E-Bikes. What are e-bikes and why are they so awesome? Attend this session to explore the transformative power of electric bikes and what makes them such an efficient and eco-friendly way to get around. Learn which design is best for you and whether you should buy factory-made or convert a bike you already own. We will help you narrow your focus depending on expected use. You will also learn the basics of lithium batteries and why they are so important. The presentation will be followed by Q&A. Bikes will be available to ride after the conference so bring a helmet.
  • Lessons learned off the Grid – Presentation by Andrew Haigh and Maxine Leichter. You don’t have to live off the grid to benefit from these energy conservation tips from the masters. Join Salt Spring residents Andrew Haigh and Maxine Leichter as each reveals what they have learned in over a decade of off-grid living. Learn how to reduce energy consumption, how to plan for low-energy usage in building design, and what they would do differently if starting over.
  • Cohousing: Building a Lower Carbon Community – Presented by Michael J Tacon, Harbourside Cohousing, Sooke. Now that the construction is complete, Michael will address the power of collective wisdom and consensus-reaching ability as key factors in the viability of effective co-housing. Conservation was the primary energy reduction strategy, so come learn how the BUILD GREEN GOLD certification and constant vigilance for new ways to reduce energy consumption are working in the co-housing environment!
  • Home Retrofits and New Home Design – Presented by Alex Love (Nelson Hydro), Sam FitzZaland (GreenCity Builders) and Elizabeth White (retired designer-builder and former Certified Energy Assessor) Whether you are building a new home or retrofitting an existing one for energy efficiency, there’s lot to learn from these three experts. Alex will review Nelson’s successful energy retrofit program while Sam will present lessons learned from his recent new construction experiences. Elizabeth will provide an overview of energy efficient housing in Canada, from the early days of R-2000 to Passive House and Net Zero, and what Salt Spring islanders are doing. The format for this workshop is 3 fifteen minute presentations followed by Q&A.
  • Investing for a Post Carbon Future – Stephen Whipp, Wolverton Securities Ltd.  Are you concerned about investing in ventures that will exacerbate Climate Change?  Would you like to invest in alternatives and solutions?  This workshop will discuss ways to avoid the financial risks associated with investing in fossil fuels, while taking advantage of opportunities offered by climate change mitigation and the post-carbon economy. With over 15 years in the investment business, Steve will lead us through a discussion about intelligent ways to divest from fossil fuel investments and move to investing for the future.

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