Insurance broker gets brighter office, saves money

A recent lighting upgrade at Ward Watkins Insurance Brokers in Surrey and Maple Ridge is not only saving energy, but the offices look much brighter too.

Ward Watkins is a relatively small company, with 10 employees and offices totalling 2,000 square feet. Because of the small size, employee satisfaction is a top priority, and good lighting is a big part of that. The old lighting system had been in place for a long time, and lighting quality had declined.

The solution: higher efficiency lighting, plus incentives

Ray Butchart, co-owner of Ward Watkins, saw an ad from BC Hydro that arrived in the mail. He learned that the Power Smart Product Incentive Program provides incentives for the installation of a wide range of energy efficient technologies. So he got in touch with BC Hydro, who put him in touch with a lighting contractor.

After the contractor examined the old lighting system and explained the options for upgrading to more efficient technologies, Butchart and his partner decided to replace all of the ballasts and fluorescent tubes in the Surrey office.

Ward Watkins Insurance replaced old fluorescent tube fixtures with new T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts. The company received an incentive of over $570 to offset the cost of the energy-efficient products.

“The space has a better and brighter lighting quality,” says Butchard. “What’s more, the Power Smart incentive made the project more affordable.”

Lower operating costs, better light quality

As a result of the retrofit, Ward Watkins is saving over $225 on their electricity bill annually. As well, maintenance costs are reduced since the energy-efficient lights last longer and fewer lamp replacements are needed.

“I was skeptical at first, because I thought that the low-energy lights would give out less light and make the office darker,” says Butchart. “But I soon found that it was quite the opposite—the new lights seem to give out more light than the old inefficient ones.”

Ward Watkins was so pleased with the results that they went ahead and upgraded the Maple Ridge office too.

A closer look at the upgrade

The product: 24 lamp fixtures (4’4) with new T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts:

  • Electricity saved each year [kilowatt hours]: 4,500
  • Annual savings on bill and maintenance: $336
  • Value of Power Smart incentives: $570

Visit’s Product Incentive Program pages for more on how you can benefit from energy efficient technologies through the program. You can also call 1 866 522 4713.

Some sample incentives

Discover just how much your administrative or commercial facility can benefit from energy-efficient lighting technologies—right now and for years to come.

Under the Power Smart Product Incentive Program, a variety of products qualify for incentives that can lower paybacks and make upgrade projects even more attractive:

  • Compact fluorescent lamps save up to 75% in energy costs over incandescent lamps.
  • Energy-Saver T8 flourescents with electronic ballasts save 40-50% in energy costs over the older T12s with magnetic ballasts.
  • LED exit signs are 90% more efficient than incandescent signs and last up to 25 years.
  • Lighting occupancy sensors can save up to 70% in energy costs, depending on the room, while prolonging the lifespan of your lighting products.

Related links:

Source: BC Hydro News