Energy Fix winners ride efficient lighting to savings and more

As lighting is one of the highest energy costs for so many companies, it also offers a great opportunity to save.

That's why this year's Energy Fix contest focussed on lighting upgrades, offering $5,000 lighting makeovers to five winners across B.C.

"Shifting to energy efficient lighting saves money on electricity and maintenance," says Reid Arkinstall, marketing product development specialist at BC Hydro. "And an efficient lighting system can pay off with increased employee productivity, improved security, better comfort and more pleasing aesthetics."

Energy Fix winners get their upgrades

Just a few weeks after receiving their upgrades, the Energy Fix winners report they're ecstatic about the results. In addition to the cost and comfort benefits, many of the businesses enjoyed some free publicity — in newspapers and other media — that went along with being a contest winner.

Read about the winners:

  • The owners of Northcoast Health and Fitness in Terrace have noticed their upgraded fluorescent lights make the space brighter, and the cardio workout area no longer gets hot under the lights. They look forward to the reduced energy costs.
  • Colonel Baker House health centre in Cranbrook got its own health care boost with all-new fluorescent lighting and seven cost-saving LED exit signs.
  • Salmar Grand Cinemas in Salmon Arm switched their exterior light strings to LEDs and they love the new look. They also like the improved aesthetics of the new bathroom and lobby lights.
  • Mildred's Memorabilia Antiques in Qualicum Beach used to get so hot in the summer they had to turn the lights off between customers. With new LED lighting, their space is cooler, brighter, and better looking.
  • Robert's Roost R.V. Park in Quesnel resolved a long-standing energy challenge. Now, with ultra-sonic occupancy sensors in their 12 shower stalls, the shower lights are no longer running 24 hours a day.

Engaging small and medium-sized businesses

The Energy Fix contest was developed as a way for BC Hydro to engage our so-called SMB — small and medium-sized businesses — customers and get them set on a Power Smart path. Contest winners also stand as examples to other businesses on how simple changes can make businesses much more energy efficient.

"We recognize SMBs are busy and finding the time to enter a contest can be a challenge in itself, so we've been really pleased because the response has been phenomenal," says Arkinstall. "There is desire from SMBs in all sectors to improve their business by better managing their energy cost. Businesses know there is value in being Power Smart."

Energy efficiency incentives

There are numerous barriers that can prevent small and medium-sized businesses from making energy-efficient upgrades, including:

  • Cost of the project
  • Finding a contractor
  • Finding time to research options

BC Hydro Power Smart provides assistance, incentives, and a place to start.

"The Product Incentive Program is designed for SMBs," says Arkinstall. "It provides education, resources and financial incentives to participating customers, helping them overcome a wide range of barriers."

Don't forget about LiveSmart BC

In addition, businesses could receive a free walk-through assessment to identify energy savings in their facility and take advantage of more incentives through the LiveSmart Small Business program.

But, hurry. The LiveSmart program closes March, 2013, and businesses would likely need to be in the program by the end of December to receive benefits on time.