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Better business support for smaller industrial customers

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Self-serve program puts companies on the fast track to incentives

BC Hydro is helping smaller industrial companies become more energy efficient by offering Power Smart programs, tips, and incentives designed with them in mind.

BC Hydro sector manager Sasha Herman says smaller industrial companies place a premium on satisfying their customers and growing market share while improving efficiency and productivity.

"We're looking for ways to help them accomplish their business needs through reduced costs and improved facility environments, all of which allow companies to keep their prices down and stay competitive," says Herman.

BC Hydro is working on customized offers, working with industry vendors and increasing communications to meet the needs of these companies. And a key element is a streamlined approach to providing energy-efficiency incentives, through a program called SIP.

Self-Serve Incentive Program

Sasha Herman, BC Hydro sector manager.

The Self-Serve Incentive Program (SIP) was developed to make it simple and easy for  industrial customers to identify opportunities and access incentives

Here's how it works.

A vendor (such as a lighting or compressed air distributor) helps the customer assess their energy opportunities and then fill in the online application.

"The SIP application does all the calculations and spits out an incentive amount. It's meant to expedite the incentive payment for those fairly easy, straightforward retrofit projects," says Herman.

A company can work with their preferred vendor, or contact BC Hydro for a referral to a local Power Smart Alliance member.

Alliance vendors are knowledgeable about energy efficiency, programs and incentives available from BC Hydro.

What's available today?

Currently, lighting and compressed air retrofits are included in SIP, and Herman says more systems — including variable speed drives (VSDs) and refrigeration options — may be added over time.

SIP provides straightforward access to incentives for BC Hydro industrial customers who are not large enough to be assigned a key account manager.

"If you don't have a key account manager and you're interested in an energy efficiency upgrade, the place to start is with your vendor," says Herman.

More information, both ways

Meanwhile, Herman says BC Hydro is actively working both to provide effective energy information to smaller industrial customers, and to learn more about their needs.

"We hear from companies about the advantages they've experienced through efficiency work — better quality control with improved lighting, faster turnaround on jobs, smoother compressed air with less system downtime," she says. "We're working to be present at more industry conferences and trade shows — not just to pitch Power Smart, but to really listen and learn from these companies, so we can create solutions that work.

"A lot of our industrial customers have moved to our new conservation rate structures," Herman continues. "That means the more energy they can save, the more they'll see credits on their bills. Plus, with Power Smart incentives they can gain dollars to do projects that will save them money over many, many years.

"Energy efficiency helps you keep your prices down, and helps your business grow and survive."

As part of the increased service to smaller industrial customers, the Current email newsletter will present more content relevant to this sector. Watch for stories and tips that will help you make the most of your energy budget — and get smarter about your business.

If you're a newsletter subscriber, let us know what you think by participating in our survey this month. As a thank you for participating, you can enter a draw to win one of three $250 gift certificates.

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For more information, contact Customer Care at 604 453 6400 in the Lower Mainland; 1 866 453 6400 elsewhere in B.C.