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Is your business paying for wasted energy? How to find out

Image of crowd and presenter at a Canadian Manufacturers and Explorers energy efficiency workshop with BC Hydro and FortisBC
An energy efficiency workshop recently offered by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, BC Hydro and FortisBC drew a captive audience. The story below covers some of the highlights from the workshop.

Tips and ideas from recent workshop help you get started on energy efficiency

Wasted energy is a direct hit on your bottom line, hurting your company's profitability. But when you invest in energy efficiency, you can free up resources that will improve your financial picture month over month, for the long term.

That was the opening message at a recent workshop offered by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, BC Hydro and FortisBC. The three organizations teamed up to give an overview of electric and gas energy management, and how to get started on energy efficiency.

Here are some key points from the presentation:

MyHydro: Understand how you're billed

The first step in managing energy is understanding your company's energy bill and consumption patterns.

MyHydro is an online platform providing an access point for all of a company's account information, including energy usage patterns. Data is available up to the day before. LGS/MGS rate customers have the ability to view consumption in five-minute increments.

Monitoring this information helps you understand the elements of your bill: energy charge, (kWh); demand charge (kW); and power factor.

This makes it easier to determine what energy-saving actions to take, such as shifting production times to reduce total demand charges, or adding capacitors to eliminate power factor surcharges. It also lets you identify problems that have no-cost solutions, such as spotting when equipment is left running when the facility is closed.

The energy tracking tools available through MyHydro have quickly become one of the most popular spots on the BC Hydro website.

Get your employees involved

Your employees are a great resource for identifying savings. They're your eyes and ears on the floor, able to alert you to energy waste or opportunities for savings.

Engaging employees in energy conservation requires education about how energy may be wasted, and what it means to the company in terms of savings, efficiency, and living up to green commitments.

BC Hydro provides a number of tools to help with employee engagement, from downloadable posters to a planning guide that explains how to develop an energy awareness program at your facility.

Enlist the help of an energy advisor

Once you understand how you're using energy, it's time to identify energy-saving opportunities. The Business Energy Advisor service is a resource to help you identify opportunities and navigate utility programs that are the best fit for your situation.

Knowledgeable about business energy usage and ways to save money, advisors are funded by BC Hydro and FortisBC. To get a free energy consultation or to learn more, contact the Power Smart Business Help Desk: 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland, or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.

Get knowledgeable support from the Power Smart Alliance

Power Smart Alliance members are skilled consultants and suppliers who can provide energy efficiency advice, and are fully trained on utility incentive programs. They can help support your incentive applications by providing estimated project costs and savings.

If you have a preferred vendor who is not a member of the Power Smart Alliance, they can apply for membership to help your project keep moving. If you don't have a preferred vendor BC Hydro can provide referrals. Call the Power Smart Business Help Desk, 604 522 4713 or 1 866 522 4713 (outside of lower mainland), for details.

Reduce your project costs with incentives

There are two types of Power Smart incentive funds available. The eligibility criteria for these incentives vary.

Basic equipment upgrades & product replacements

  • Straightforward incentives to upgrade compressed air (40 to 200 horsepower) or industrial lighting are available through the Self-Serve Incentive Program
  • One-to-one product replacements are available through the Power Smart Express Program.

Larger project upgrades

Comprehensive funding for studies and incentives for larger systems, or to expand or build new facilities. (For expansions or new facilities, contact Power Smart early in the design process.)

You can check your eligibility for BC Hydro programs by calling the Power Smart Business Helpdesk or by checking online with the Business Program Eligibility Tool.

Keep up to date with the monthly eNewsletter

Current is BC Hydro's Power Smart eNewsletter for industrial customers, offering energy management tips, stories about what peer companies are doing, and updates about Power Smart program offers. It's an easy way to keep energy efficiency top of mind, and keep on top of latest best practices.

If you want to catch up on various topics quickly, you can access one year's worth of archived issues or subscribe now.