Stories & Features

Build in savings with BC Hydro's New Plant Design program

Image of a group of engineers from above
Building energy efficient features into your new plant from the start maximizes your energy savings.

Integrate energy management into your plans from the beginning

We're always trying to help you find ways to make energy savings based on your current usage. But what about making savings based on your future usage? That's where the BC Hydro New Plant Design program comes in. If you're planning a new facility or a major expansion of your current location, it's only natural to focus all your attention on process equipment and leave things like lighting and auxiliary costs until later. But there are lots reasons why building in all those energy efficient features from the start makes sense:

  • Designing efficiently now saves expensive retrofits down the road.
  • Lower operating costs save money over the lifespan of the facility.
  • You'll enjoy enhanced performance, productivity, and product quality.
  • Your business can become a showcase for industry leadership in smart facility design and progressive energy use.

BC Hydro's New Plant Design program helps you identify exactly how to get the most out of your future facility and is open to all industrial customers who are:

  • In the early stages of planning a new facility or expanding an existing facility with an expected overall usage increase of at least 5%.
  • Able to demonstrate potential savings of over 300,000 kilowatt hours per year after completing our program study.

And don't worry if your potential savings are less than that. Coming up, we'll explain how we still might be able to help.

How does the New Plant Design program work?

The best time to apply for the New Plant Design program is right at the beginning of the planning stage of a new construction project. If your program application is approved, you'll be able to take full advantage of our 100% BC Hydro-funded energy efficiency feasibility study.

Program experts will collaborate with your design team to determine an energy baseline for your new plant. Then everyone can review the options to optimize your energy usage. "We highly recommend getting in touch with us as early as possible in the design stage, says Rob Raymond, program manager with BC Hydro. "An energy expert will examine your existing design and provide recommendations for energy efficient alternatives. In the end, you will receive all the information you need to make a decision, including project costs, energy savings, and the incentive amount from BC Hydro The time spent getting it right at the beginning really pays dividends long term."

Every situation is different, but many businesses can expect the New Plant Design program to deliver overall energy savings of 5-10%.

There can also be short term benefits as well. The study report will enable you to apply for any applicable incentives covering up to 75% of your system upgrade costs.

But what if your project isn't large enough to be eligible? We can still help you navigate our incentive programs, to explore upgrades like LED lighting or compressed air systems, which are some of the most common ways to reduce industrial power usage.

What to do next

Start by reading more about the New Plant Design program. And to understand how it could more specifically help with a new construction or expansion project you might be planning, speak to your Key Account Manager, regional energy manager – or contact the BC Hydro Business Helpdesk: