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FortisBC Efficiency in Action Awards

The FortisBC Efficiency in Action Awards recognize and celebrate BC businesses, organizations and builders for exceptional achievements in saving energy. In 2018, we awarded 10 recipients who have shown innovation to reduce their natural gas and electricity use, increase the energy efficiency of their buildings and operations, and help to meet BC’s climate action goals.  

2018 awards luncheon

Read about the 2018 Efficiency in Action Awards luncheon held May 8 at the Delta Grand Okanagan in Kelowna.

Meet the 2018 winners

​Single family project – Alder Projects Ltd.

An experienced custom home builder, Alder Projects designed the 70 homes at Riesling Ridge in West Kelowna with energy efficiency in mind. The homes include high-efficiency natural gas furnaces and condensing storage tank and tankless water heaters, ENERGY STAR® appliances, ENERGY STAR windows and doors, and draftproofing and insulation aimed at achieving the ENERGY STAR for New Homes standard – resulting in not only rebates for the builder but comfort and energy cost savings for future homeowners.

​Multi-family project – Sendero Gate Townhomes Ltd., Azura Managment Corp.

While developing the Sendero Gate townhome community in Penticton, the builders made room for energy efficiency. Each of the 44 units includes high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, natural gas condensing storage tank water heaters, ENERGY STAR appliances and LED lighting. In addition, they worked with a Certified Energy Advisor to evaluate each townhome for airtightness and energy performance – receiving rebates for whole-home efficiency from our New Home Program.

​Single family builder – Lithium One Homes Ltd.

In building homes around Prince George, Lithium One Homes goes above and beyond code requirements to create single family homes with exceptional energy efficiency in the northern BC climate. Working with a local Energy Advisor, they achieved EnerGuide 82 certification and New Home Program rebates for five homes in 2017, and they continue to plan for energy efficiency into 2018, including airtightness, insulation and high-efficiency natural gas appliances and heating systems.

​Small commercial customer – Kelowna Sustainable Innovation Group LP

The Kelowna Sustainable Innovation Group opened the Innovation Centre in Kelowna in August 2017 to give both startups and established tech firms space to grow. With incentives for energy-efficient new construction, the new 104,715-square-foot facility uses LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles to minimize environmental impact, such as a high-efficiency natural gas hydronic heating system and a lighting design that incorporates LEDs and natural light to reduce electricity use.

​Medium commercial customer – Orchard Park Shopping Centre, Primaris Management Inc.

Opened in 1971, Orchard Park is Kelowna’s largest shopping centre. The mall’s lighting and heating systems were recently upgraded with incentives from our custom energy efficiency retrofit program. This included replacing the rooftop makeup air units and other HVAC measures and installing high-efficiency LEDs and optimizing controls. They are saving natural gas and electricity, plus enhancing the shopping environment for new generations of customers.

​Large commercial customer – Central Okanagan Public Schools

School District 23 serves 22,000 students at 43 schools from Peachland to Kelowna to Lake Country. Smart improvements to save natural gas and electricity costs have included rebate-eligible LED lighting upgrades across several schools and high-efficiency boiler replacements at selected sites. In addition, the district has switched 17 school buses and one waste collection truck to compressed natural gas, helping to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

​Industrial customer – Interfor Corporation – Castlegar Division

Interfor, one of BC’s largest processors of wood products, worked with us to modernize equipment and increase the energy efficiency of its Grand Forks and Castlegar sawmills. The Grand Forks project was completed in 2012, and after seeing the savings from improved compressed air equipment, variable speed drives and industrial lighting, it made sense to implement a similar suite of upgrades in Castlegar. Since completion, the Castlegar upgrades are estimated to be logging 2.3 million kWh in savings per year.

​Foodservice – Kelly/Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Restaurants & Pubs

This BC-based chain of Irish-themed restaurants and pubs serves up good times in the front and gets serious about saving energy and operating costs in the back. They’ve worked with our team to get rebates for natural gas commercial cooking equipment at their Vernon, Kamloops and Vancouver locations, and for the Kelowna location in our electricity service area, rebates on efficient commercial electric equipment too.

​Public sector, municipal – City of Castlegar

The City of Castlegar has completed two major projects to save significant amounts of electricity and operating costs. Converting streetlights to LEDs now saves the city more than 300,000 kWh annually. They also completed innovative upgrades in 2017 at the South Sewage Treatment Plant, including adding variable speed drives to the aeration system and anoxic zone control, which have resulted in an impressive 57 per cent reduction of electricity consumption, as well as maintenance costs for the plant.  

​Public sector, provincial – Interior Health

Interior Health has shown long-term commitment and leadership in energy efficiency and helping BC meet climate action goals. They’ve implemented a wide variety of projects to save natural gas and electricity, whether constructing new facilities, such as the Kelowna Community Health Centre or the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre, or improving existing ones, such as retrofitting all its hospitals with LED lighting in 2016/17. They have also worked with us to get numerous rebates for efficient boilers, commercial water heaters and more.


From left: John Maloney, Alder Projects Ltd.; Lorne Sisley, Interior Health; Jim Tazelaar, Interfor Corporation, Castlegar Division; Harold Schock, Central Okanagan Public Schools; Jesse Reel, City of Castlegar; Ron Stevenson, Primaris Management Inc.; Ewan Stewart, Azura Management Corp.; Jas Raju, Lithium One Homes Ltd.; Scott Fraser, Kelly/Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Restaurants & Pubs; and David Bacheldor, Sustainable Innovation Group LP​