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Growing yields of savings

​Successfully raising 10,000 cucumber plants from farm to table is no small feat.

The secret to growing crisp and succulent cukes in a greenhouse built for thousands? A good dose of heat and the right lighting, explains Greg Thorp of Thorp Family Organic Farms in Oliver.

Last year, FortisBC extended a natural gas line to his farm, providing reliable, affordable energy and allowing Greg the opportunity to create consistent heat throughout his greenhouses. With dependable heating in place, Greg then worked with Perry Feser, a FortisBC Energy Efficiency Technical Advisor in Penticton, to expand his operations and build a state-of-the art greenhouse.

“I talked to Perry about expanding the greenhouse and installing energy-efficient lighting. He encouraged me to look at the rebates available through FortisBC’s Custom Business Efficiency Program,” said Greg. “High-efficiency lighting gives a full spectrum light which is the most important component for growing high-quality products,” he explained.

Perry recommended installing 512 X 1000W High Pressure Sodium (HPS) grow lights with electronic ballasts and computerized controls, saving close to 350 operating hours and an estimated $17,775 in electricity costs.

Shelley Thomson, FortisBC Aboriginal and Community Relations Manager in Kelowna, also suggested installing a high efficiency boiler to heat the greenhouse.

All these upgrades combined with using the Time-Of-Use (TOU) rate, with lighting coming on at 9 p.m. and turning off at 8 a.m., it has been very helpful. As a result, the greenhouse is, well, thriving.

To learn more about this and other rebates for your business, visit Rebates & offers.