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Stepping up to help small businesses increase energy efficiency
Sep 17, 2020
FortisBC and GreenStep Solutions team up to offer virtual and limited on-site energy evaluations in Kelowna, Penticton and Nelson
Kelowna, BC ̶ September 17, 2020: FortisBC and GreenStep Solutions (GreenStep) are working together to offer retailers, restaurants and offices free customized energy advice, helping them lower energy consumption and increase energy efficiency within their businesses. Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, GreenStep is offering energy advice via telephone calls, videoconferences or through a limited amount of in-person visits that will follow proper safety protocols.
“We have offered this program to B.C. businesses for the past three years but this year there is an added significance in supporting small local businesses during this pandemic,” said Lynne Williams, program specialist, conservation and energy management, FortisBC. “By working with GreenStep, we can help business owners find ways to better manage their energy use, lower their annual operational costs and support them with our conservation and energy management programs.”
Each consultation takes 15 to 30 minutes and provides business owners with ideas about how to reduce their energy use, whether that’s maintaining room temperatures, meeting hot water needs or cooking food. This year, in addition to offering low-cost and no cost ways to reduce energy use, GreenStep will also provide insights on how to manage energy use if businesses are closed or have reduced hours due to COVID-19 restrictions.
For those businesses looking to invest in projects to increase energy efficiency and achieve long-term savings specific to their operations, they can learn about recommended equipment upgrades and the FortisBC rebate offers available that can help reduce costs of the project. They will continue to receive ongoing support through referrals to contactors and assistance in accessing rebates to implement these upgrades. Helping local businesses with energy efficiency upgrades is one of the ways FortisBC is working towards its 30BY30 target – an ambitious target of reducing its customer emissions by 30 per cent by the year 2030.
Keith Page, Repair Factory owner and operator, is encouraging businesses to sign up for these free energy consultations.
“For our business we’re going 110 per cent all the time and finding the time to resource and audit the energy efficiencies of our location is always a struggle. That’s why this is a great opportunity for us and our small local business community to learn more about where we can make targeted upgrades to conserve energy and lower emissions,” said Page. “We’re very fortunate to have partners like FortisBC here to support our community in reducing their energy use and programs like these make increasing energy efficiency accessible for our businesses.”
Providing direct support for small businesses is just one of the ways FortisBC is working to make energy efficiency more accessible for all of its customers. GreenStep exceeded last year’s goal and visited more than 1,000 businesses in Kelowna, Penticton and Rossland. Almost 500 of them took part in the free energy assessments and more than 180 of the businesses took the next step by completing an in-depth energy assessment to help them find additional opportunities for energy savings. Many of these businesses took advantage of LED lighting upgrades and the estimated annual savings from these projects is more than 1,270,000 kWh, the equivalent electricity use to power more than 112 homes for a year.