B.C.'s public sector makes conservation a top priority

Posted by Jennifer Maniezzo

Three of B.C.'s largest public organizations – Canada Post, the Provincial Health Services Authority and the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) – have implemented Power Smart initiatives that are expected to save more than 12 million kilowatt hours a year.

"With some of the largest consumers of energy, the public sector has demonstrated great leadership in conservation," said Lisa Coltart, BC Hydro's executive director of Power Smart and Customer Care. "Canada Post, ICBC and the Provincial Health Services Authority are leading the charge in what we hope will become a provincewide conservation mission."

Canada Post was among the first organizations to participate in BC Hydro Power Smart's Continuous Optimization Program, which aims to identify conservation measures through real-time energy monitoring of commercial buildings. Energy savings at the Victoria mail processing plant will result in savings of more than 217,000 kilowatt hours a year a 10 per cent decrease in energy use.

ICBC has incorporated an energy policy and energy conservation manual that has laid the framework for significant retrofits in several of ICBC's facilities. This includes an energy retrofit of their head office in North Vancouver that is expected to save enough to meet the annual energy needs of 60 homes.

"We're pleased to contribute even in a small way. Energy-efficiency projects benefit everyone. We're proud of the changes we've made and the commitment of our employees," said Jon Schubert, CEO of ICBC.

The health authority has implemented numerous mechanical and lighting projects to improve electrical efficiency. In particular, their new automated controls will save them over 400,000 kilowatt hours a year.

In addition,  ICBC's Schubert and the Provincial Health Services Authority's president and CEO Lynda Cranston are Power Smart ambassadors. All three organizations have encouraged their employees to join Team Power Smart and commit to reduce their personal energy use by 10 per cent. Since January more than 2,500 employees have set a personal conservation target.

The efforts of these organizations will be instrumental in helping BC Hydro meet the requirements of the Clean Energy Act and reach its goal of meeting 66 per cent of the province's new energy needs through conservation by 2020.

Jennifer Maniezzo is on BC Hydro's Media Relations team.