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FortisBC presents the Efficiency in Action awards

May 31, 2016

Wine, food, health and building industries all celebrated for their dedication to energy conservation

KELOWNA, BC – On May 31, FortisBC recognized 10 B.C. organizations for their dedication to conserving energy. Collectively, these organizations have saved enough natural gas to heat close to 150 homes and electricity to power close to 340 homes for a year.

“The attention these organizations have paid to energy use in their projects is impressive — saving energy at this level requires commitment, careful planning and concrete action,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice-president, customer service and regulatory affairs, FortisBC. “FortisBC works closely with organizations like these to achieve their conservation goals and this is an opportunity to acknowledge their success.”

The Efficiency in Action awards recognize exceptional energy savings in residential building, commercial upgrades and industrial operations. Award winners include businesses of all sizes, municipalities and institutions that have worked with FortisBC to make a significant reduction in their energy use. The winning projects are diverse, such as community housing, street lighting and wine production, and they all demonstrate a desire to save money in their business and operate more sustainably.

For example, winemaker and this year’s industrial award winner, Andrew Peller Limited, carefully manages both energy and water use while processing the approximately two million cases of wine annually at their Kelowna facility. Peller achieved impressive energy saving results when they replaced one large end-of-life boiler with three smaller energy-efficient ones. While they still have the same capacity for water heating, they can now scale their use to their needs.

“We estimate the typical life of a boiler is 20 to 30 years, so although we are conscious of the initial capital spend, this is long-term play,” said Doug Gallagher, director of operations, Western Canada, Andrew Peller Limited. “It’s more than dollars and cents for us, we all have a role to play in managing our environmental impact for the people who come after us and projects like this put us on the right track.”

After just six months, their boiler project has saved more than 1,700 gigajoules of natural gas—that’s equivalent to the natural gas used to heat and provide hot water for 23 single-family homes for a year. It’s also exceeding their estimated annual natural gas savings by more than 180 per cent and reduced their water consumption by 10 per cent over the previous year.

Another commercial customer that achieved top honours is Overwaitea Food Group who made energy-efficient upgrades in their Kelowna, Penticton and Nelson stores. Their upgrades to energy efficient refrigeration in Nelson and Penticton and conversion to LED ceiling lights at their Kelowna Orchard Plaza store are estimated to save 900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, that’s enough to electricity to power 82 homes for a year.

“We’re guided by a simple but fundamental principle, to run a responsible company in every area of our business,” said Cole Munro, energy manager, Overwaitea Food Group. “We do our part to save energy and create a culture of sustainability, adopt the principles of energy efficiency into our ongoing business management practices and upgrade our existing facilities with energy conservation measures.” 

Other winners include:

  • BNA Brewing Co., Kelowna, Food service award
  • Skaha Hills, Penticton, Single-family project award
  • Belledune Homes, Prince George, Single-family builder award
  • Heddlestone Village, Nelson, Multi-family project award
  • City of Penticton, Public sector-municipal award
  • Hume Hotel & Spa, Nelson, Small commercial project award
  • Baptist Housing Ministries Society in Kelowna, Victoria and Vancouver, Large commercial project award
  • Interior Health Authority, Public sector-provincial award

Through their combined efforts, the 2016 winners have saved an estimated 11,000 gigajoules of natural gas and 3,700 megawatt hours of electricity. These represent just a small number of the energy-saving initiatives FortisBC supports each year. Last year, our efficiency programs helped customers reduce their electricity use by 12,600 megawatt hours and their natural gas use by 435,000 gigajoules.


Media contact

Nicole Bogdanovic
Corporate Communications Advisor, FortisBC
[email protected]

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,200 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,200 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 47,500 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at or