B.C.'s Business Energy Advisors: a little help can go a long way

Image of a shop owner meeting with a Business Energy Advisor
A Business Energy Advisor's assessment of your business will be based on visual verifications of installed equipment and an analysis of operational data, including billing information and your annual energy consumption.

Need help identifying energy-saving opportunities: Book an appointment

As a business owner in B.C., you wear a lot of hats. One minute, you're helping a customer. The next minute you're restocking shelves. Next, you're taking inventory, diving into accounting responsibilities and more, all while maintaining a happy and productive staff.

You might not even have time to think about trying to keep energy costs down.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an extra set of hands? Good timing — BC Hydro's new Business Energy Advisors are taking appointments.

Free expert-level energy advice offered in person

With the conclusion of the LiveSmart BC Small Business program on March 31, 2014, the Business Energy Advisor service has transitioned to BC Hydro, in partnership with FortisBC. Six advisors are now positioned in four regions around the province: the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and Kootenay regions, and northern B.C.

The advisors, who specialize in the unique needs of small and medium businesses, offer customers energy assessments for their electricity and natural gas usage. Best of all? Their services are provided in person, and are completely free.

Business customers want Power Smart to engage in-person

"Small and medium business customers routinely ask Power Smart to engage in-person and walk through their business, whether it's a hotel, restaurant, retail store or office," says Reid Arkinstall, a product development specialist with Power Smart.

Arkinstall says customers want a Power Smart representative to help them evaluate their energy and cost saving opportunities and give them easy-to-understand advice about next steps and available financial incentives. With the Business Energy Advisors ready to go, it's possible.

"Time is of the essence for these businesses," adds Arkinstall. "In the course of a single morning these individuals may have already replaced a burned-out light bulb, received new stock or a fresh produce delivery, stocked the shelves, cleaned the windows and coached staff on how to provide outstanding customer service," he points out. A Business Energy Advisor can quickly and efficiently help them with their energy assessment right there at their business, he says.

What to expect during an appointment

Your regional Business Energy Advisor will visit your business to identify your immediate and long-term energy saving opportunities. A typical appointment lasts about one hour, so it's important to be as prepared as possible when the advisor arrives on site. A good place to start is to have your BC Hydro and FortisBC billing information available.

The advisor's assessment is based on visual verifications of installed equipment and an analysis of operational data, including billing information and your annual energy consumption. While on site, an Advisor can also clearly explain BC Hydro Power Smart and FortisBC's financial incentives, review billing elements like load factor,demand and power factor, and introduce you to free online energy management resources for businesses, like MyHydro.

Small business owner by day, energy manager extraordinaire by night

"Most small business owners in B.C. don't think of themselves as true Energy Managers," Arkinstall notes. "However, based on the accounting, payment and energy-related maintenance, upgrades and conservation advocacy that they do every month, an Energy Manager is exactly what they are."

"With the support of the Business Energy Advisors," Arkinstall continues, "Power Smart encourages business owners in B.C. to embrace their role as Energy Manager and sport the Energy Manager hat with confidence."

To schedule a free appointment, contact the Power Smart Business Help Desk at 1 866 522 4713.