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Blenz Crossroads gets help from a Business Energy Advisor

Amy Deol, Blenz Crossroads
Amy Deol, Blenz Crossroads

Business Energy Advisor helps Blenz tackle lighting challenges

Amy Deol wasn't focused on energy efficiency when she considered the challenges with the lighting at her coffee shop in Vancouver's Cambie Village neighbourhood.

"We have a high ceiling and the lights would always be burnt out," says Deol, owner/operator of Blenz Crossroads. "It was always a hassle to have to get someone to go up and change them."

Deol was puzzling over solutions when she received a letter from the Cambie Village Business Association (CVBA) about the association's Business Energy Advisor program. "I was looking for something like that to save money, labour and time," says Deol.

Efficient lighting saves energy and replacement costs

Deol signed up for the program, and in May, Adrian Pettyfer, a LiveSmart BC Business Energy Advisor (BEA), did a free walk-through assessment of her business to look for ways she could save energy and reduce costs.

For many businesses, lighting upgrades offer the biggest bang for the buck. Most energy efficient bulbs last much longer than older models so they save on energy costs and the cost of replacing burnt bulbsSome lighting upgrades can even provide savings with a short enough payback periodto benefit businesses with short-term leases.

Meanwhile, all businesses with T12 fluorescent lighting will have to upgrade sometime in the next few months. "No one in North America can import T12s as of this month, so soon you won't be able to buy them anymore," says Pettyfer. "Businesses might as well upgrade as soon as possible and start benefitting from the energy savings. And right now BC Hydro has incentives to reduce the cost of making the switch."

Long lasting, energy efficient LED lighting delivers 1-year payback

For Blenz, the old lighting was a combination of incandescents and halogens. Pettyfer helped Deol choose new LED lighting that would work in the existing fixtures.

LEDs are four to six times more energy efficient than incandescents and two to three times more efficient than halogens, so the energy savings will quickly add up. And, because LEDs can last 25,000 to 30,000 hours (about three years of non-stop use, or nine years if used eight hours a day), they reduce waste, costs and the trouble of having to routinely replace burnt out bulbs.

"The new lighting looks great. I'm really happy with it," says Deol. "The next step is to start to see energy savings!"

With a payback time of only one year for the lighting upgrade, the cafe will be reaping the benefits for years to come.

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