Energy Strategies - British Columbia

Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Housing

Energy and Mines


Honourable Rich Coleman


BC Overview

British Columbia's Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources released the BC Energy Plan on February 7, 2007. Following the province's 2002 Energy for Our Future: A Plan for BC, the report includes contextual information on BC's existing resources and energy use, and provides targets for future resource and energy use.

Broken into four primary areas — Energy Conservation and Efficiency, Electricity, Alternative Energy, and Oil and Gas — the plan outlines 55 policy actions and provides several specific timeline targets (such as BC's energy self-sufficiency by 2016). The subsequent Report on Progress, released in April 2009, the first of several planned documents of this kind, provides a list of policy actions either completed, underway or ongoing.

In April 2010, concurrent with the release of its Green Energy Advisory Task Force Report (3.7 MB PDF), the Government of British Columbia passed its Clean Energy Act, which includes 16 objectives designed to ensure that BC becomes a "clean energy powerhouse." These objectives fall under three broad categories: "ensuring electricity self-sufficiency at low rates"; "new investments in clean, renewable power and energy security"; and "harnessing BC's clean-power potential to create jobs in every region."

BC's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target Act was passed in 2007. The subsequent Climate Action Plan, released in June 2008 outlines the government's commitments to reducing emissions. Climate Action for the 21st Century reports on the latest progress BC has made towards its targets to reduce GHG emissions by at least 33 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 below the 2007 level.

On February 3, 2012 the province released its Natural Gas Strategy. Four priorities include market diversification (to Asia) to increase the value of the province's natural gas resources, support for job creation, continued support for clean energy initiatives and a redefinition of BC's energy self-sufficiency policy.

In addition, the development of a new LNG sector in the province is intended to produce increased private sector investment, produce jobs, decrease GHG emissions for the province and keep the price of energy affordable for BC residents. Liquefied Natural Gas, A Strategy for BC's Newest Industry outlines how the province intends to have three LNG terminals operational by 2020.

Natural gas production and development of a competitive LNG industry in the province are key to the B.C. Jobs Plan.

Plan Objectives

The BC Energy Plan includes four “objectives” that guide the province’s actions on energy. These objectives, in turn, correspond to common themes found throughout Canada’s other provincial and territorial energy strategies.

  • Environmental Leadership
  • A Strong Commitment to Energy Conservation and Efficiency
  • Energy Security
  • Investing in Innovation

Major Energy Players


  • 1.1 million smart meters in homes and businesses (installed by BC Hydro)
  • 6 per cent reduction in GHG emissions below the 2007 level
  • 90 per cent of the province's local governments are carbon neutral
  • Replace the Burrard Thermal plant (may retain "for capacity purposes")
  • First new LNG plant up and running (Kitimat LNG facility)
  • Eliminate all routine flaring at oil and gas producing wells and production facilities
  • Zero net GHG emissions in existing thermal plants
  • 30 per cent reduction in personal vehicle GHG emissions (tailpipe emission standards)
  • 18 per cent reduction in GHG emissions below the 2007 level
  • Acquire 50 per cent of BC Hydro's incremental resource needs through conservation
  • 50 per cent or more of the province's renewable fuel requirements from BC biofuels
  • 10 community energy projects developed that convert local biomass into energy
  • 33 per cent reduction in GHG emissions below the 2007 level
  • 100,000 solar roofs installed on residential and commercial buildings in BC
  • Three liquefied natural gas terminals are operational
  • Acquire 3,000 GWH of supply beyond "firm" requirements
  • 80 per cent reduction in GHG emissions below the 2007 level