BC Hydro wants businesses to test technologies

Nina Winham

If you're a small or medium-sized business willing to try some innovative new energy efficiency technologies, BC Hydro wants to talk to you.

"We want to collaborate with small and medium sized businesses to test a few different technologies," says Irfan Rehmanji, a Technology Innovation Manager for BC Hydro. "What we need is someone who's willing to step up, provide their facility as a test site and demonstrate the technology.

"The two things we can offer are a significant incentive that will underwrite most of the project cost, and coordination of all the technical aspects of the project."

Of course, the test company also enjoys the usual benefits of energy efficiency: lower electricity bills, opportunities for staff engagement, and proof of their sustainability commitments.

For BC Hydro, it's a chance to track the performance of various technologies and prove them out before determining whether to add them to various incentive programs. For you, it's a chance to get leading-edge technology onsite – for a fraction of the usual cost.

Below is the specific list of technologies Rehmanji is hoping to test. However, he says, "Customers are our eyes and ears. If they know of another energy efficiency option that falls in these categories, I'm open to learning about it."

He also suggests companies may want to team up to test technologies across their combined operations, and share the learning.

Interested? Contact Technology & Innovation by email.

HVAC controls (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)

"What these controllers do is go in and relatively quickly retrofit 'low-tech' systems into systems that are dynamic and more responsive to the users' needs," says Rehmanji. "Businesses with larger and varied HVAC loads can gain a significant advantage from these controls, instead of having their system run full blast all the time."

Target partners: businesses such as bakeries, supermarkets, small manufacturing

Plug load controls

"These are wireless devices that go into the socket in your wall, and turn it into a smart interface that you then plug your appliances into – anything from your desk light to your computer, your coffeemaker or your photocopier," says Rehmanji.

"So now you can control all those things remotely," he adds. "You can be in Hawaii, log on through the web, and see what's turned on in your office. You notice your computer was left on, and you send a signal to turn it off."

Target partners: small offices (i.e. 10 people or cubicles), or a very high plug-load office.

Lighting control for parking garages

Says Rehmanji: "Limelight provides an integrated lighting and controls product so that instead of having your parkade lights on all night at full brightness, they'll dim down and turn off when there's no movement detected."

Target partners: medium and larger businesses with their own parking garages, or companies that are parking garages.

Nina Winham is a Vancouver-based sustainability consultant and a regular contributor to both the Power of Business eNewsletter and

Source: BC Hydro News