Power Smart Forum offers solutions, ideas for industry

This fall, from October 25-27, BC Hydro will convene its premiere learning and networking event for business customers: the Power Smart Forum.

The Forum is one of the largest energy conservation conferences in North America, with programming organized into three streams: Commercial/Institutional; Community/Government; and Industrial. This year's theme is Building the Green Economy, with leading experts and vendors lined up to take part.

Registration is now open and attendance is free.

Tony Ceh, BC Hydro's industrial stream program lead for the Forum, says the Forum provides an unparalleled opportunity for industrial customers in the province.

"In the industrial sector in B.C., there are a number of associations for companies of a similar type, where they can meet and share ideas, such as pulp and paper, mining, forestry and so on. But there isn't really a central association around energy," he says. "That's a void that the Power Smart Forum fills. We bring customers together for a common goal: to improve their profitability through saving energy."

The industrial stream at the Forum offers two types of learning. Workshops, which run a half or full day, provide specific skills training. These include:

  • Delivering an Effective Employee Energy Awareness Program, which offers a step-by-step process for creating a tailored employee awareness program for industrial Energy Managers and members of their energy teams; and
  • SPOT the Energy Savings at the Point of End Use, in which delegates will learn to identify instant energy savings opportunities and how to capitalize on them quickly.

Breakout sessions offer information on specific topic areas relevant to industrial customers. These include:

  • Emerging Technologies in Motors & Drives;
  • Commodity Products & the Value of Green Branding;
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiatives for Industrial Gas Users (led by Terasen Gas);
  • Metrics to Justify Capital Energy Projects;
  • ISO 50001: A New International Standard for Energy Management; and
  • Implementing Lean to Reduce Energy Costs (covering the basics of "Lean" philosophy and how to apply it for improved productivity and reduced cost).

There's also a session that walks industrial customers through the specifics of Power Smart's industrial incentives and offers.

"It's an informative session; it's really the crux of the Power Smart Industrial Program," says Ceh. "'How much money can I get for doing a study, how much money can I get for doing a project, what are the eligibility rules?' On the one hand the Forum gives you all this great information from experts and speakers, and you get all these ideas about things you can do. Then we help people actually implement; that's where the Power Smart programs and incentives come in."

Ceh says the Forum is geared to "the people in your mill who are responsible for energy" – recognizing that the definition is broad.

"Really it comes down to anyone who looks after energy consuming systems or the spending around energy or projects," he says. "Everyone from the plant manager, production manager, maintenance manager, and the plant superintendent through to the special projects capital expenditure person, CEO, COO, or CFO – it's relevant for them all.

"Those are the kind of management individuals who can hear about improvement opportunities and then champion them within the company, and have that decision-making or influencing ability to make projects happen."

Those who have attended the Forum in the past have "been impressed with its size and scope" says Ceh. "Almost 1,000 people attended last year in all streams, and we're expecting more than 1,200 this year. Everybody leaves feeling they've learned something; they feel encouraged or excited to go back to their plant to implement something that they've learned.

"It's for everybody's mutual benefit," he continues. "Hydro's trying to save energy, and the customers are trying to save money. And there are multiple benefits that come from understanding energy efficiency: reliability improvements, reinvestment, reduction in maintenance costs, and so on.

"The industrial sector represents a third of the province's energy consumption," he concludes. "Given their size and the energy that they consume, it stands to reason that we have a stream targeted for our industrial customers – we also ask them to take part in the overall effort to make B.C. as energy efficient and competitive as possible."

  • Learn more about the Power Smart Forum
  • Register now