Theresa Howland’s job is to make light bulbs go on. Howland is the vice-president, Western region, for Bullfrog Power Inc. – a company that provides 100 per cent green electricity to customers in Ontario and Alberta. She oversees the Alberta market and acts as the company spokesperson. And while you might expect the purveyor of a green power alternative to have at least a little tie-dye or Birkenstock within them, Howland hardly fits the bill. Sitting in a small boardroom at the company’s Calgary office, decked out in a blouse, long skirt and heels, this 31-year-old is all business. “My job is all about changing the status quo,” she says.
Howland knows her stuff, rattling off statistics with convincing ease. Before too long, she’ll tell you that only two per cent of our current electricity comes from green sources and that Denmark gets 20 per cent of its power from wind. And that for an extra 12 bucks a month, an average residential Bullfrog customer saves about six tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year.
Growing up on an acreage just outside of Edson, Alberta, Howland gained an awareness for the environment at a young age. “I always had an interest in sustainability even before it was called sustainability,” she says. “I grew up with a real appreciation for space, air and nature.” But despite that bucolic background, Howland – who previously led the wind power programs at both TransAlta Corp. and Enmax Corp. – is hesitant to describe herself as a full-fledged environmentalist. “I try to do the best that I can and I do walk to work more, but there is always room for improvement,” she says.
Now, Howland just hopes that light bulbs keep going on. For real, and in people’s minds.
Member, board of directors, Clean Calgary Association
Member, board of directors, Clean Air Strategic Alliance
Member, ImagineCalgary roundtable
Member, board ofdirectors, Canadian
Wind Energy Association