Victoria, BC – Clean Energy Association of British Columbia (CEBC) welcomes British Columbia’s Budget 2024 that invests in a clean, inclusive economy. Budget 2024 invests in electrification infrastructure that supports British Columbians to transition to a low-carbon economy. This includes $318 million investment to CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 to fund rebate and grant programs that support clean transportation, energy-efficient buildings, and communities. This follows B.C.’s previous announcement for the significant investment in BC Hydro’s 10 year Capital Plan to build out British Columbia’s electricity system.

CEBC commends the province for supporting First Nations equity ownership in major projects with the announcement of the First Nations Equity Financing Framework. There can be no economic reconciliation without First Nation’s participation in the clean economy. Too often, lack of access to affordable capital prevents First Nations from taking part in critical economic activities. The First Nations Equity Financing Framework is a positive step towards First Nations playing a meaningful role in the clean economy. This framework will be developed in consultation and cooperation with First Nations; industry leaders will also be engaged to inform the development of the framework. The Framework will consider an equally diverse range of potential projects that can be supported through equity loan guarantees and other forms of assistance.

Clean Energy BC supports First Nations equity ownership and partnerships in projects that are central to the clean economy and aligned with rights and principles in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. CEBC applauds the provincial government for working with the federal government on coordinating efforts to provide loan guarantee programs and other supports that will support First Nations equity ownership and partnerships.

CEBC Executive Director, Kwatuuma Cole Sayers:

“We need more clean electricity as we take climate action and see more electrification. The public is changing its behaviour. And so is industry. EVs, fuel switching, heat pumps and the movement away from natural gas in homes and businesses mean more and more demand for electricity. Due to the benefit of hydroelectricity, about 98% of B.C.’s electricity production is clean. However, 78% of our energy still comes from fossil fuels, which are still widely used for transportation, heating and heavy industry. To ensure the long-term economic health of B.C. and meet the Province of British Columbia’s CleanBC GHG targets, affordable, environmentally responsible, clean energy is critical. It’s the mission of Clean Energy B.C. and its members to help assist B.C. and its core industries in this energy transition.”

CEBC Board of Director, Colleen Giroux-Schmidt:

“As an association and a sector, we focus on producing clean electricity — providing electrons into the grid so that other economic sectors have more access to clean energy to meet their ESG targets and bring clean investment and jobs to British Columbia. All these industries are crucial to the economic health of British Columbia, so our mission is to help assist them in this energy transition. Equity partnerships are essential to the energy transition, so we welcome BC’s support for First Nations equity ownerships and partnerships with the First Nations Equity Financing Framework.”

Budget 2024 Highlights:

Advancing First Nations equity ownership and partnerships in major projects:

· First Nations Equity Financing Framework for participating in major projects; this framework will be developed in consultation and cooperation with First Nations; industry leaders will also be engaged to inform the development of the framework.

Advancing climate action and the clean economy:

· CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 supported with $318 million to fund rebate and grant programs that support clean transportation, energy-efficient buildings, and communities; this investment will support the province’s transition to a low carbon economy.

· To bolster the $318 million investment, an additional $93 million in 2023/24 will provide a further $20 million for active transportation grants to communities, $40 million for additional heat pump rebates for low- and middle-income households, $30 million to continue the implementation of electric vehicle public charging infrastructure across the Province, and $3 million to increase youth involvement in climate action initiatives.

Investing in infrastructure:

· Budget 2024 includes significant capital commitments in the health, transportation, housing and education sectors. Taxpayer-supported infrastructure spending is forecast to be $43.3 billion over the three-year fiscal plan, totaling 185,000 jobs over three years.

· Capital spending of self-supported Crown corporations is expected to total $13.2 billion over three years, relating primarily to electrical generation, transmission and distribution projects.

· Self-supported capital spending by commercial Crown corporations is estimated at $13.2 billion over the next three years, mainly for electric generation and transmission projects. These investments will support future growth while contributing to a clean and inclusive economy. (P. 5)

· $12.4 billion (94 per cent) of total self-supported capital spending is for electrical generation, transmission and distribution projects to meet growing customer demand and to enhance reliability. Included in this total is construction of a third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River through the Site C project. BC Hydro’s electricity system was largely built in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and B.C.’s population and economy continue to grow. BC Hydro is upgrading and maintaining aging assets and will embark on an unprecedented level of construction over the next 10 years, expanding British Columbia’s electricity system to build for the future and deliver reliable electricity. BC Hydro’s updated 10-year capital plan, Power Pathway: Building BC’s energy future, includes approximately $36 billion in community and regional infrastructure investments throughout the province between 2024/25 and 2033/34. (p.46)

CEBC supports business and First Nations communities and clean energy partnerships delivering affordable, environmentally-responsible clean energy.

Please see BC’s Budget and Fiscal Plan 2024/25-2026/27