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10 top energy savers applauded at FortisBC’s annual awards

May 8, 2018

FortisBC’s Efficiency in Action Awards recognized customers across all sectors for reducing energy use

​KELOWNA, BC – Today, FortisBC recognized 10 regional organizations who achieved outstanding energy savings in their sectors over the past year.

“The people at these organizations are leading the way in reducing energy use in our communities,” said Dennis Swanson, vice president, energy supply and resource development, FortisBC. “We applaud their drive to go beyond standard energy efficiency, their creativity in finding affordable ways to incorporate this into their projects and their success in gaining support within their organizations. We’re proud to have been a part of it.”

The annual Efficiency in Action Awards recognize customers who incorporated higher than standard energy efficiency into their projects and achieved significant energy savings. Through their combined efforts, this year’s award recipients reduced natural gas use by more than 12,000 gigajoules annually, which is equivalent to the annual natural gas use of approximately 140 homes in B.C. They also reduced electricity use by approximately 6,700 megawatt hours – the equivalent of the annual electricity use of about 600 homes.

“Together this helps meet B.C.’s climate action goals, reduces costs in their operations and lessens the need for new utility infrastructure, which helps keep rates lower for all customers,” added Swanson.

Central Okanagan Public Schools and Interior Health led the way in reducing energy use in the region by pursuing higher energy efficiency year after year in both their new projects and facility upgrades.

“We’re always looking for ways to creatively reduce energy use,” said Harold Schock, energy and sustainability manager, Central Okanagan Public Schools. “It lowers the cost of the utilities and puts more money into the classrooms. In fact, we’ve kept the school district’s utility budget the same since 2010 despite growing our floor space by five per cent.”

Interior Health continues to build their facilities to high-efficiency standards to both manage ongoing utility costs and lower their overall energy footprint.

“Health care is very energy-intensive, impacting the environment, our budgets and, ultimately, the services we provide to the people in our care. That’s why we’re focused on environmental sustainability,” said Donna Lommer, vice president, support services & chief financial officer, Interior Health. “By embedding sustainability principles and practices into our every day, we are improving our environmental footprint and financial health, as well as focusing our resources where it’s needed most – on patient, client and resident care.”

This year’s winners represent just a small fraction of the work being done across the province each year to reduce energy use in our homes, institutions and industries. FortisBC supports thousands of customers each year and in 2017 alone, provided customers with approximately $26 million in incentives to help lower natural gas and electricity usage. As a result, these customers reduced their natural gas use by approximately 533,000 gigajoules, or the equivalent annual natural gas use of close to 6,000 homes, and their electricity use by 27,800 megawatt hours, or the equivalent annual electricity use of about 2,600 homes. This work is helping B.C. meet its climate goals and keep rates lower for everyone.

The 2018 Efficiency in Action Award recipients are:

Large commercial customerCentral Okanagan Public SchoolsKelowna
Industrial customerInterfor Corporation, Castlegar DivisionCastlegar
Public sector – provincialInterior Healthvarious locations
Public sector – municipalCity of CastlegarCastlegar
FoodserviceKelly/Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Restaurants & Pubsvarious locations
Medium commercial customerOrchard Park Shopping Centre, managed by Primaris Management Inc.Kelowna
Small commercial customerThe Innovation Centre, Sustainable Innovation Group LPKelowna
Multi-family projectSendero Gate Townhomes Ltd. a division of Azura Management Corp.Penticton
Single family projectAlder Projects Ltd.West Kelowna
Single family builderLithium One Homes Ltd.Prince George


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 approximately 2,300 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 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit