The Sustainable Energy Management Advanced Certificate (SEMAC) program is a partnership between BC Hydro, FortisBC and BCIT, with initial funding support from the Natural Resources Canada – Office of Energy Efficiency. The program is designed to support employment opportunities in the emerging field of sustainable energy management, with focus on the energy demands of commercial, institutional, industrial and community facilities.
Fall 2021 delivery mode: online
- This program will be delivered online for the fall semester.
Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.
The target audience for this advanced certificate are those that are interested in expanding their knowledge and initiatives into sustainable energy management or are interested in changing careers.
The SEMAC program is a completely online part-time studies program that will provide graduates with the skills and knowledge of sustainable energy management principles, approaches, techniques, and tools, in order to be able to function quickly and effectively in the energy management industry. Energy management is the practice of energy conservation, in short making sure that industry is only using the energy it needs and that that energy is being used as efficiently as possible. This program consists of nine courses that cover the technical aspects of energy management along with the business aspects and human behavior aspects. This holistic program provides graduates with a well-rounded base for succeeding in the energy management industry.
The program will use lectures and self-guided learning as the primary method to develop the knowledge and applied skills of the learners. Learning methodologies will also include case studies, project work, group collaboration, and student presentations.
Missed an info session?
If you’ve missed a Sustainable Energy Management information session, you can watch the program overview and the Q&A session Note: This information session was held April 13, 2016 and topics discussed in this session are subject to change without notice.
Costs & Supplies
Graduating & Jobs
Although the program is aimed at filling BC Hydro’s need for energy managers and Fortis BC’s need for Energy Specialists, additional opportunities exist for graduates in the many governmental energy or energy-related (including GHG) agencies:
- Non-profit sector employment (e.g. working to educate the population or auditing for other NGOs)
- Specialized sales representative understanding the reality of the energy manager working with BC Hydro. They could be working for:
- Energy management software manufacturers / distributors (e.g. Pulse Energy)
- Building systems and controls manufacturers / distributors – small or big (e.g. Honeywell)
- Other companies in the energy sector (e.g. Nexterra)
- Energy manager / project manager / sales representative for the big ESCO players (e.g. Honeywell, Johnson Controls)
- Energy manager in other sectors (e.g. engineering consultant)
- Educator (e.g. corporate training)
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
- Alicia Hearn, Fortis BC
- Caroline Jackson, City of North Vancouver
- Darla Simpson, SES Consulting
- Graham Henderson, BC Hydro
- Homay Khatami, Stantec
- Luke Ferdinands, Energy Advantage Inc.
- Michael Urbas, Great Canadian Casinos
- Peter Love, Love Energy Consultants Inc.
- Robert Greenwald, Prism Engineering
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the online program work?
- How long is the program and what is the course schedule?
- How much time per week do I need to spend on the program?
- Do I get to meet my classmates in person?
- Can I just take a few courses or do I have to take the whole program?
- What kinds of jobs can I get when I graduate from this program?
- How many energy manager and specialist positions are currently available?
- What kinds of networking opportunities are there for me in this program?
- How much does this program cost and is there financial aid?
How does the online program work?
The SEMAC program consists of nine courses. The length of a course can differ from five weeks to fifteen weeks, depending on the number of credits. When each course starts you log into D2L, BCIT’s online learning system. You work through the content by yourself but often have group assignments. Your instructor is there to answer questions, run live webinar sessions, moderate discussion forums and support you in your learning. Quizzes and exams are taken online as well. The scheduled live webinar sessions with your instructors are usually no more than two hours per week in the evening. These sessions are recorded so that you can also watch them at a later date.
How long is the program and what is the course schedule?
The program is offered in two different formats depending on how quickly you would like to finish the program.
1.5 year option: takes approximately 16 months to complete. Courses run from September to June, with a break for Christmas in the first year. You then take a two month summer break during July and August. Courses start again in September and finish in December. During this time you will be taking two courses at all times. A visual representation of the 1.5 year option can be view in this PDF.
2.5 year option: takes approximately 28 months to complete. Courses run from September to June, with a break for Christmas in the first year. You then take a two month summer break during July and August. Courses start again in September and finish in December. During this time you will be taking one course at a time for all semesters except for the last one, where you will take two courses. A visual representation of the 2.5 year option can be view in this PDF.
How much time per week do I need to spend on the program?
This depends on the course and how many courses you have each semester. For example, the first course is a 36 hour course and it is offered over 10 weeks. On average, you should expect up to 3 hours of homework and readings on top of your class time. A 36 hour course would require a maximum of 144 hours over 10 weeks. Expect to spend between 6 to 14 hours a week to complete this course.
Do I get to meet my classmates in person?
Yes, the first day of class is an “in person” session at BCIT. We ask students to come in for the weekend to get to know their classmates a bit. If you live too far away to join us for the weekend we will happily make exceptions for people to join us in webinar format.
Students have, in the past, organized informal social events with other students in the program to help stay in touch.
We also love to see students attend convocation after the have graduated, this can be a great celebration and networking opportunity for the cohort.
Can I just take a few courses or do I have to take the whole program?
The SEMAC program is best taken in sequence, starting with CESA 5100 in the fall. If you intend to take the program we highly suggest you take it in order.
Some students come from backgrounds where they already have quite a bit of experience with energy management. Quite often these students are presently employed as energy management professionals. They might be looking for some specific courses to improve or refresh their skill set and if so, may be allowed to take “one-off classes” with permission from the Program Head.
What kinds of jobs can I get when I graduate from this program?
This program was originally designed to allow people with the correct background and experience to be hired into the Energy Manager and Energy Specialist programs at BC Hydro and FortisBC. Some of our graduates have gone into these roles over the past few years. Many other individuals work in various supporting fields of energy management.
The following are examples of job titles of past students:
- Energy Specialist/Manager/Director
- Energy and Sustainability Manager
- Energy Engineer
- Maintenance Manager
- Project/Sales Manager
- Technical Sales Manager
- Senior Consultant
- Business Energy Advisor
The following organizations are examples of where students have found work:
- Consulting Firms
- Health Care
- Industrial Manufacturing
- Non-Profit Associations
- Hospitality Industry
- Private Consulting Business
Additional opportunities exist for graduates:
- Non-profit sector employment
- Specialized sales representative understanding the reality of the energy manager working with BC Hydro and FortisBC
- Building systems and controls manufacturers / distributors
- Other companies in the energy sector
- Energy manager / project manager / sales representative for the big ESCOs
- Energy manager in other sectors (e.g. engineering consultant)
- Educator (e.g. corporate training)
How many energy manager and specialist positions are currently available?
This number is constantly in flux. Please take a look at BC Hydro and FortisBC’s web pages to learn more.
BC Hydro – Energy Managers
- Energy Specialists
(this link provides a list of the existing energy specialist positions)
What kinds of networking opportunities are there for me in this program?
The program offers many optional networking opportunities with industry over its 16 month duration. Most are offered in the last few months of the program as students begin to plan the next steps in their careers.
How much does this program cost and is there financial aid?
The total cost of the program in 2016 was approximately $5750. This cost includes the cost of text books and will go up each year. Payments are made as each course is started rather than as a lump sum at the beginning of the program.
This program is not eligible for financial aid through BCIT’s financial aid office.
The SEMAC program has partnered with FortisBC to provide a grant available to Indigenous students interested in the SEMAC program. More information can be found on the lndigenous Services web pages.
Sustainable Energy Management
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