Areef is a natural community collaborator who has had led a rich career helping clients move from ideas to on-the-ground action. As a mechanical engineer, he has dedicated the past 25+ years of experience in energy efficiency sectors in North America and across the UK. His passion for community and energy efficiency led him to launch Community Power in 2008 with his late business partner, Tom Smith. They initially formed the business to help both First Nations and other underserved groups manage and reduce their energy costs. Over the following ten years, Areef developed Community Power into the ‘go to’ company for communities who want to purposefully reduce and manage energy costs.
In 2005, Areef joined Simon Fraser’s Learning Strategies Group as their First Nations and Energy lead. As a result, he became extremely successful at engaging, understanding, and working with First Nation communities. He learned first-hand the negative impact that poor housing conditions had on energy bills and how the energy costs further depleted scarce financial resources.
Prior to Community Power, Areef was a senior executive with BC Hydro’s Power Smart Inc. where he successfully engaged major North American utilities, manufacturers, and retailers to adopt Power Smart through an energy efficient product endorsement program. As CEO of Homeworks, a former Terasen subsidiary, Areef was responsible for turning around the organization by improving the sales channel; adding profitable customer-oriented financing options; and, tightening up communication across the organization.
Areef now spends his time investing in community relationships and advising the Community Power team on how best to design and deliver results-oriented services for community partners.