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Three new program updates for 2024

Well-dressed employee working on a laptop in a factory
Our new program updates will help industrial and large commercial customers identify and complete energy-saving projects even faster.

Faster, easier and simpler

If you're a regular reader of Current, you'll know we've been working hard recently to streamline our offers for commercial and industrial customers.

We caught up with Tamara Berger, our industrial and large commercial sector manager to find out what's in store for 2024. "We're offering pre-approvals to purchase equipment, wider access to fully funded feasibility studies, and faster approvals for smaller projects," says Tamara. "These updates all align with our overall goal to streamline offers for our large business customers to make it easier for them to understand what they have access to."

1. Pre-approval to purchase – but not install – equipment.

Long lead times and supply chain issues mean that waiting for your incentive to be approved before you order equipment may slow down your overall project timeline. So we've introduced a new pre-approval to purchase option to help you complete projects sooner.

After you've applied for your incentive, you'll receive an email with terms and conditions giving you the option to pre-purchase equipment – but not to install it. Here's what you need to be aware of:

  • Pre-approval to purchase doesn't guarantee your incentive will be approved. It also doesn't guarantee what amount you'll receive if your incentive is approved. This is because a lot of factors go into reviewing your application to determine any final incentive amount.
  • Installing equipment before your incentive is approved may impact your energy savings. We ask that you don't install any equipment without approval because we may need to measure or verify your metering to determine your optimum set-up. If you go ahead and install equipment before you have the agreement, we may not be able to confirm your energy savings – which can also impact your incentive.
  • Pre-approval only applies to self-serve incentive program (SIP), low carbon electrification (LCE) and custom projects. Please note that pre-approval to purchase equipment is not available if your funding is from Better Buildings BC, administered by BC Hydro.

"We're giving you the option to choose to purchase equipment if you're confident in doing so, but it's your choice to do that. For customers who've done this many times or who are replicating a project at another site, it could speed up the process," says Tamara. "However, it's always going to be safer to wait until your incentive is finalized."

2. Wider access to fully funded feasibility studies

To help more commercial and industrial customers get access to feasibility studies for projects, we've reduced the threshold for 100% funded studies. This applies to all energy efficiency or electrification feasibility studies – except CleanBC government-funded studies.

"As a value add for customers who are willing to commit to Strategic Energy Management (SEM) participation with a cohort or an energy manager, there's no claw back for feasibility studies," says Tamara. "For non-SEM customers, there's also no claw back – but only if you move forward with your project."

"We've also introduced the direct pay option for both commercial and industrial customers with energy consultants. We'll pay the consultant direct so that the customer doesn't have any financial outlay for the study."

Payment options for SEM participants

As a reminder, strategic energy management (SEM) is program encompassing several offers that support long-term energy efficiency. It's available to commercial and industrial customers.

  Energy opportunity of 50,000 – 199,999 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year  Energy opportunity of 200,000+ kWh per year
Direct pay n/a Payment made from BC Hydro to consultant.
Traditional pay 50% of study costs made from BC Hydro to the customer. Payment made from BC Hydro to the customer.

Payment options for non-SEM participants

  Energy opportunity of 50,000 – 199,999 kWh per year Energy opportunity of 200,000+ kWh per year
Direct pay n/a Payments made from BC Hydro to consultant.

25% potential clawback from customer to BC Hydro if a capital project based on the study recommendations is not started within 18 months.
Traditional pay 50% of study costs made from BC Hydro to the customer. 75 % of payment made from BC Hydro to customer.

25% of payment made from BC Hydro to customer after capital project based on study recommendations is started within 18 months.

Once you've completed a feasibility study with us, the findings essentially become your incentive application. They contain all the project details at the level of accuracy that we need to move forward.

3. Streamlined approvals for projects under $5K

Finally, if your project is under $5,000, you can now enjoy a much more streamlined review process. We've reduced the processing time for smaller projects so that you can get your agreement faster.

How can we help your business?

To find out more about all our programs and incentives, contact your Key Account Manager or Regional Energy Manager, or call 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.