News Release

New industry program promises big energy savings

VANCOUVER – A new BC Hydro program is expected to help B.C.'s industrial sector save about 400 gigawatt hours per year of electricity over the next four years – enough to meet the annual power needs of close to 20,000 homes.

The Power Smart Partners Transmission program offers incentives and rebates to help customers in the pulp and paper, mining, solid wood, manufacturing and oil and gas industries manage and reduce energy use, while generating conservation savings that benefit all BC Hydro customers.

"Industry in B.C. is energy intensive and there are huge opportunities here to help meet our conservation goals, and at the same time contribute to industry competitiveness," said Minister Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "Overall, this program has a net benefit savings of $120 million compared with the cost of purchasing new electricity supply."

The recently introduced Clean Energy Act directs BC Hydro to meet 66 per cent of the province's incremental electricity needs through efficiency and conservation by 2020. This is up from the 50 per cent target set in the 2007 Energy Plan.

"The Power Smart Partners Transmission program is designed to encourage efficiency and conservation by helping customers with the initial investment in projects and enabling activities that will continue to provide consistent financial savings year-after-year," said Lisa Coltart, executive director of Power Smart and Customer Care for BC Hydro.

The program offers up to 100 per cent funding for energy efficiency projects under $1 million and up to 75 per cent funding for energy efficiency projects over $1 million. In addition to the significant financial incentives, the program promotes an integrated energy management approach consisting of auditing energy use, setting targets, monitoring energy use and increasing employee awareness and education.

Catalyst Paper is one B.C. company taking advantage of BC Hydro's new offer. "This program aligns very well with our business drivers. The financial benefits of the offer allow us to complete energy-related projects and studies that would otherwise be postponed or cancelled," said Jennifer Mercer, mechanical pulp energy manager with Catalyst Paper.

"The results of these projects help us modernize our equipment and improve the quality of our product while lowering our energy consumption and costs. The program offer has become integrated into our strategic decision making," Mercer added.

Most industrial customers require large amounts of electricity for their operations. BC Hydro estimates that the industrial sector uses about one third of the total electricity consumed in B.C. each year, but is responsible for 45 per cent of the annual Power Smart savings.

Contact:

Simi Heer
BC Hydro, Media Relations
Phone: 604 623 3963

Source: BC Hydro News