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No energy manager? Three ways to get the job done

Image of two women working in an office
You may be wearing many hats and working long hours. But there are ways to take on some of the tasks of energy manager in a way that pays off without draining all your energy.

Best of all, these strategies cost you nothing

When Joanne Topping gets to work in the morning, saving electricity isn't the first thing on her to-do list. As the emergency services support coordinator at Colewood Fire Rescue, Topping's priority is saving lives, dispatching firefighters on a moments notice.

Kate Billington, co-owner of West Vancouver's The Bakehouse in Dundarave, also has a long list of responsibilities, things that need to get done every day that don't involve energy management. When she's in the prep kitchen at 6 a.m., the last thing she thinks about is light bulbs.

Of the 1.17 million employer businesses in Canada, 1.14 million businesses (97.9%) are classified as small businesses. And the majority don't have a dedicated energy manager (i.e., someone who regulates and monitors energy use), or facility manager. That means there are a lot of de facto energy managers out there, hard working people like Topping and Billington, who are doing energy management tasks off the side of their desk.

If you don't have the time or expertise, or the data or tools, to tackle the responsibilities of an energy manager, it can be very hard to know where to begin. Here are three ways you can be effective. Best of all, they cost you nothing:

If you can measure it, you can improve it

Data insights, like the ones you can get for free by logging in to bchydro.com and using MyHydro tracking tools, can help you gain a better understanding of how your business or employer consumes electricity.

With our MyHydro tools, you can:

  • Monitor exactly how much electricity the business consumes during normal hours of operation
  • Drill down, hour-by-hour, to see peak consumption times or when consumption is unusually or unnecessarily high
  • See how much electricity is consumed outside of your business' normal hours of operation
  • Adjust the time frame to see data from previous billing periods.

Discover what the normal pattern of energy use is for your property

How much energy does your property use first thing in the morning, at night, on the weekend, or on holidays when it's unoccupied? How much does it use during normal operating hours? What happens on very hot days or very cold days, or when you host events?

Once you have a handle on what's normal for your property, you can immediately start identifying operational improvements. Operational changes, which are simple changes in behaviour, are one of the easiest and quickest ways to put money back in your bank account.

Develop simple action plans to reduce energy use

Something as simple as adopting a closing checklist (to ensure lights and appliances are turned off at night) or modest operational changes (like these three ideas) can make a big impact.

If you're committed but short on time, call our Business Helpdesk for support. We can help you understand your business' energy efficiency opportunities and connect you with the right people or the right programs. Call 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.