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Thompson Okanagan Leads Renewable Natural Gas Initiative

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

For Immediate Release

September 20, 2023

Renewable Natural Gas Partnership Assists Tourism Businesses Action Climate Goals
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association Initiative aids Province’s ‘CleanBC Roadmap to 2030’

Kelowna, B.C. - As a tourism industry leader in destination stewardship and sustainability, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is pleased to lead an initiative that takes meaningful and measurable steps to reduce the region’s carbon footprint. A new partnership with Natural Resources Canada and FortisBC is a simple, yet powerful, invitation for stakeholders to make an immediate change to a more sustainable fuel source. This campaign seeks to increase awareness on the simplicity of switching to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to heat and power homes and tourism businesses - and to inspire action. RNG is a practical way to help mitigate future climate crises and transform BC's energy future by reducing BC greenhouse gas emissions. Supporting both personal and professional climate goals, this is an important action to aid the Province’s path toward a ‘CleanBC Roadmap to 2030.’


Tourism businesses in the Thompson Okanagan can make an immediate move to reduce harmful climate change emissions and achieve sustainability goals in one simple step. Switching to FortisBC’s renewable natural gas option will lower carbon footprints in businesses, transportation, and residential sectors and does not require any new equipment, upgrades, or installations. Customers have the option of replacing 5% to 100% of their natural gas consumption with RNG. While natural gas and RNG are chemically identical, with methane as their primary component, RNG is created through renewable sources making it environment friendly. These similarities allow the two variations of natural gas to be interchangeable within the existing pipeline infrastructure across North America.


What is RNG and the environmental benefits?

RNG is a purified ‘biogas’ made from commonly found organic materials, plants, animal refuse, and waste. These materials are brought to a dedicated facility where methane is processed and repurposed into the accessible fuel source. The Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna and the Salmon Arm Landfill are two of these suppliers for the region. RNG assists in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would be released when using conventional natural gas. RNG also creates sustainable by-products such as organic compost, mulch, and hygienic bedding material for livestock - all reducing the need for chemical variations.


Make the switch to RNG

Signing up for RNG is simple and can be done without making any upgrades to existing appliances. FortisBC is the flagship utility company of British Columbia dealing in natural gas and Renewable Natural Gas. Those wanting to use RNG must be a FortisBC customer.


Follow the steps below to sign up online for RNG:

  1. Log in to your account online at FortisBC.com.

  2. Select Renewable Natural Gas under the “Manage Services” menu and follow the steps to enrol. The cost of RNG depends on the blend chosen. Customers can choose to switch to 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, or 100% of their natural gas to RNG.


With climate crises and its devastating impacts on the rise, RNG is one of the important tools that businesses and individuals can switch to today that can mitigate current carbon footprints.


Learn more about TOTA’s leadership role in destination stewardship and the ongoing sustainability programs for the region.


Businesses Leading by Example + Contest

TOTA and FortisBC are pleased to partner with a Summerland-based business that takes their commitment to sustainability seriously. Okanagan Crush Pad and Garnet Valley Ranch Winery are not only adding Renewable Natural Gas into their energy portfolio, but are also encouraging the entire region to take steps towards reducing climate-changing emissions. They are offering a two-night stay at the brand-new Garnet Valley Ranch Winery to bring awareness to this worthy climate action cause. Learn more and enter to win.


Funding provided by Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) is the department of the Government of Canada responsible for natural resources, energy, minerals and metals, forests, earth sciences, mapping, and remote sensing. NRCAN is committed to improving the quality of life for Canadians by ensuring the country’s abundant natural resources are developed sustainably, competitively, and inclusively. NRCAN develops policies and programs that enhance the contribution of the natural resources sector to the economy and conducts innovative science in facilities across Canada to generate ideas and transfer technologies. Natural Resources Canada has provided TOTA with funding to spread awareness about the benefits, availability, and accessibility of Renewable Natural Gas to regional tourism stakeholders.


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About Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is a not-for-profit society that represents a geographic area nestled in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. The region’s name is derived from two major geographic features: the Thompson River and Okanagan Lake. TOTA plays a support, leadership and growth role in the tourism industry for this region. It aims to stimulate ongoing sustainable growth by embracing the value of tourism through community engagement, innovative leadership in promoting authentic experiences, and inspiring creative collaboration. Key TOTA initiatives include: Biosphere Certified Gold Destination, 7 Generations Pledge, and Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.


For more information about TOTA visit TOTABC.org, or visit the consumer facing website ThompsonOkanagan.com. Connect socially on Instagram at @Thompson_Okanagan



Media Contact:

Krista Lochhead

778.227.2396



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