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BC Hydro's 'conservation roadmaps' spark interest outside B.C.

Utilities along the west coast embrace advanced lighting application roadmap

When you're traveling to new territory, it helps to have a map. So Power Smart's Technology and Innovation group has developed a "roadmapping model" to predict which new technologies will be most important in achieving a shift to energy efficiency, and how to support their implementation.

It's a model that's now helping inform energy conservation practices up and down the west coast.

BC Hydro's advanced lighting application roadmap has now been recognized by eight utility companies as a key opportunity to transform the commercial market. It focuses on promoting LED or T8/T5 lighting with adaptive or bi-level controls, both indoors and in parking areas.

"Smart controls are a key component of leveraging savings potential," says Irfan Rehmanji, a BC Hydro technology innovation manager. "Customers can improve their energy efficiency up to 60% by using technology in combination with these controls."

Once the group completed their roadmapping exercise, they pitched it to their utility partners along the west coast. The response was... electrifying. Each of the major utilities adopted the roadmap model and will be creating their own roadmaps, which they see as an effective tool for allocating budget as well.

Those eight utilities have also formed the Adaptive Lighting Adoption Coalition so they can co-produce educational materials and determine as a collective how to best influence code and regulation changes.

"We're really happy with the ripple effect of the work we did," said Rehmanji. "Through Power Smart's influence, we are helping to create market transformation."

How the roadmapping initiative began

"The process began at the 60,000 foot level," explains Rehmanji. "We looked at the conservation potential — the broad strokes of the opportunities available in the different technology sectors — and then brought it down to a granular level."

The Power Smart Technology and Innovation group's goal was to identify what savings were available through which new technology, then to use that information to inform Power Smart priorities and action plans.

"We wanted to marry the technology with the unique dynamics of the market segments," says Rehmanji.

Roadmaps can lead to a pilot or demonstration project to advance conservation in a specific sector. Or they might call for increased educational outreach, training for the trades, or perhaps evolve into a Power Smart offer.

A matrix was created that included information on current market trends, which was then superimposed with expert opinions from across Power Smart. During the exercise, they looked at what the industry is doing today, where the opportunities and barriers are, and what actions might be taken in the next three- to five-year time frame.

Each sector has its own road map identifying key technology opportunities, priorities, and action plans applicable to its industries.

Watch for future stories with details about the future of lighting, and heating and ventilation systems, based on what the roadmapping processes have discovered.