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Bowen Island market's energy-saving initiative cool with customers

BOWEN ISLAND – A Bowen Island food wholesaler has taken a step toward reducing energy waste – to the tune of about $340 a year – while ensuring the only impact to its customers is positive.

The Ruddy Potato Wholesale Foods Market installed insulated night covers on its refrigeration units with the assistance of BC Hydro's Power Smart Product Incentive Program. The project will save more than 6,800 kilowatt hours of electricity each year and lower The Ruddy Potato's energy bill by $340.

"We wanted to provide the best possible customer service by keeping the coolers open during the day to provide easy access, yet reduce our energy waste at night," said Daniel Heald, the owner of the Ruddy Potato. "The insulated blinds keep the cold air in. As an added bonus, they improve product life by keeping the temperatures more consistent."

The project started when Heald saw an ad for Econofrost woven aluminum night covers, a product supplied to grocery stores by Econofrost's Vancouver Island office. The ad mentioned that financial incentives were available from BC Hydro for the purchase of energy-efficient technologies.

After discussions with Econofrost and BC Hydro, Heald upgraded his refrigeration equipment and installed the blinds on five open coolers, covering a total of 211 square feet. He also installed cooler lighting with lower ultraviolet emissions, which provides better quality light while minimizing the rays that can degrade food.

Established in 1990, The Ruddy Potato is a healthy and organic food store that specializes in healthy groceries, locally sourced bread, meat and produce, and desserts and deli items from its own Ruddy Kitchen. The store strives to minimize its impact through buying from local producers, recycling and involving itself in the local community. The current store location opened in 2001.

About the Product Incentive Program

The Power Smart Product Incentive Program offers B.C. businesses financial incentives for the installation of pre-approved energy-efficient technologies, allowing businesses to reduce electricity bills.

"Making your business more energy efficient doesn't have to involve huge, capital-intensive projects," said Power Smart commercial marketing manager Carmelina Sorace. "There are many small, easy upgrades that any company can do to save energy and money and benefit its bottom line."

The Product Incentive Program offers incentives for the installation of a wide range of energy-efficient technologies, including lighting products, heating and cooling equipment, energy controls and more.