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Richmond school district employee earns Energy Saving Award from FortisBC

Everyone could be a leader in fighting climate change, according to the Energy and Sustainability Team of the Richmond School District.
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Thi Nguyen (left) and Jonathan Ho with the award.

An employee of the Richmond School District has been recognized for his work in helping six local schools save energy during an ongoing climate change crisis.

Thi Nguyen, an energy specialist at the Richmond School District, recently received the FortisBC's Energy Specialist Program Award for his team's efforts in reducing 3.5 per cent in natural gas usage between October 2021 and February 2022 at six schools.

Nguyen told the Richmond News that the award represents a combination of "collaborative team efforts and inspiring leadership."

"I can't do much as an individual, but as a team, we have unlimited potential," said Nguyen.  

Nguyen and his team have been working on a series of technical projects, launching sustainability campaigns and putting up educational posters at school to educate people about the importance of energy conservation during the past few months.

Moreover, Jonathan Ho, manager of energy and sustainability at the Richmond School District, said the award reflects a small piece of the school district's long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the district by 50 per cent by 2030.

Saving energy may be a technical and complicated topic for many, but Ho and Nguyen find it as a fun and rewarding process while tackling climate change.

This fall, Ho and his team plan to engage with the wider school district community, including workshops with students and faculty staff. ‚Äč

"Because a lot of what we just talked about is very top-down. But one thing that I'm always conscious of is that I can't know everything. And there may be ideas from our wider district community that will give us insight into how to save energy in a better way," said Ho. 

This isn't the first time the school district has won an award from FortisBC. In 2020, the Richmond School District earned the Efficiency in Action Award for energy conservation. 

Specific efforts taken by the school district include installing a solar wall at McMath Secondary School and gas absorption heat pumps at Richmond and Cambie Secondary schools.