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Regional Energy Managers are here to help you save

BC Hydro's Regional Energy Managers, Ida Keung and Gregory Wees
BC Hydro's Regional Energy Managers Ida Keung and Gregory Wees help industrial and large commercial customers access incentives and programs to save energy and reduce costs.

Lots of opportunities for industrial and large commercial customers

For the last 10 years, our industrial customers using between 0.5 and 4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year have been able to enjoy the benefits of our Regional Energy Managers (REMs). And now, if you're a large commercial customer with a company-wide annual consumption of 2 GWh a year or more, you're also eligible for REM help. They'll work with you to determine your eligibility for incentives or programs and guide you through the application process from beginning to end.

Ida Keung and Gregory Wees are both BC Hydro Regional Energy Managers. Ida has been in the role for 10 years and supports industrial and large commercial customers all over B.C.: "I work with all kinds of customers, including manufacturing facilities, food and beverage processing facilities, greenhouses and laboratories."

Gregory has been a Regional Energy Manager for four years, working on the same portfolio of sectors. He's completed many horticultural lighting projects, primarily with cannabis growers: "These kinds of projects go through our custom incentive program. Customers need to choose lighting products from our qualified product list and have a vendor they're working with. It takes time, but the savings can be significant."

Popular ways a Regional Energy Manager can help

There are many ways a Regional Energy Manager like Ida or Gregory can support your business to conserve energy or find savings:

1. Incentives for energy efficiency projects

REMs' most important role is helping customers successfully apply for our different incentive programs for capital upgrades:

2. Integrated energy audits and feasibility studies

If you're eligible, you can get up to 100% funding for a BC Hydro Alliance energy consultant to conduct an integrated energy audit of an entire facility, including:

  • Energy efficiency: Optimizing energy use at your sites and facilities to reduce energy consumption and peak demand.
  • Low-carbon electrification (LCE): Switching from fossil fuels to clean electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Demand response: Reducing or shifting energy use on the customer side, during specified dates and times, to provide flexible demand.
  • Load displacement: Generating power within a facility using clean and renewable sources for internal consumption – and storage if possible – for better demand management.

Or, if you want to focus on opportunities in specific areas or systems and build a business case for your project, we also offer up to 100% funding on a feasibility study to help you determine if a project will save enough to qualify for our incentive programs.

3. Demand response

Mentioned above as an integrated energy audit outcome, our demand-response program enables you to earn rewards for shifting your electricity usage away from peak demand periods.

"Demand-response events are short periods of high demand on our system lasting no more than four hours each," says Ida. "If you shift at least five percent of your typical electricity usage to before or after the event, you can earn $50 per average kW demand reduction over the season's events. The more you reduce or shift, the more you can earn."

4. Reduce your power factor

Along with retrofits, Regional Energy Managers can also help businesses monitor their overall consumption and try to avoid power factor surcharges caused by inefficient machinery or behaviour. "A high power factor is wasteful and it can also affect neighbouring facilities and our ability to supply them with sufficient power," says Ida.

"Recently, we’ve seen huge success in some special offers for our areas where the demand on the grid is reaching peak demand."

What kind of savings are possible?

Over the last 10 years, Ida has completed 203 projects that have collectively saved 23,158,321 kWh. At the current rate of $0.09 per kWh, that’s $2,084,248.89 of savings – or enough to power 2,105 homes for a year (assuming an average home consumes 11,000 kWh annually).

So what does that look like in real world situations? Even some of the smaller opportunities uncovered by an integrated energy audit can be quite an eye-opener. For instance, a single quarter-inch leak from an air compressor could result in $7,500 in additional power costs.

Gregory recently helped one customer save 1,022,000 kWh a year with an LED lighting upgrade. "The cost of the project was $360,000, which might seem expensive, but they received a $170,000 incentive towards that from BC Hydro," says Gregory. "And with annual energy savings of $92,000, they’ll see payback in a little over two years – so it's definitely worth it!"

How can a Regional Energy Manager help you?

To find out more about how a Regional Energy Manager could help your business, call 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.