News Release

BC Hydro expands energy conservation assistance program through partnership with FortisBC

Vancouver, BC: BC Hydro is expanding the reach of the Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) through a partnership with FortisBC. The program, designed to help residential customers with low incomes but high energy consumption, will now be available to customers who heat their homes primarily with electricity or natural gas. Now even more families will be eligible for free energy efficiency upgrades.

 
ECAP offers eligible customers a free home energy evaluation that includes personalized energy-efficiency advice and the installation of energy-savings products such as insulation for attics, walls or crawlspaces, energy-efficient light-bulbs, faucet aerators, water heater blankets and pipe wrap, and in some cases, new ENERGY STAR refrigerators. All products and services are provided free of charge.
 
While both BC Hydro and FortisBC offer many programs with rebates, these programs may not be accessible to customers who have limited income.
 
BC Hydro and FortisBC also offer free Energy Savings Kits (ESK) to low-income households as another way to reduce energy consumption and save money. The kits include a number of simple, easy-to-install energy saving products, such as weather-stripping and low-flow showerheads.
 
For more information about eligibility for the ECAP program or to apply for an assessment go to www.bchydro.com/ECAP or www.fortisbc.com/ECAP.  For information about energy savings kits, visit www.bchydro.com/freekit or www.fortisbc.com/ESK
 
There are a lot of simple low-cost ways for people to conserve electricity and keep their bills lows. For ideas, visit www.bchydro.com/powersmart and www.fortisbc.com/savingenergy.

Quotes:
 
Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines
 
Our government is working hard to keep electricity rates affordable for British Columbians. This partnership with Fortis BC lets us help more families undertake energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. By making smart energy choices, we create significant power savings that benefit the whole province.

Lisa Coltart, Executive Director of Power Smart, BC Hydro
 
Energy-efficient upgrades help customers save on their bills and conserve electricity. Even small steps can make a difference in saving energy. We expect demand for electricity to grow by 50 per cent over the next 20 years and conservation is the most cost-effective way for BC Hydro to meet that demand.
 
Doug Stout, vice president energy solutions and external relations, FortisBC

FortisBC is pleased to be a partner in the Energy Conservation Assistance Program. Through our various energy efficiency and conservation programs we encourage customers to take steps to make their homes more energy efficient. This program will make achieving that goal more accessible and easier to achieve some cost and energy savings.

Facts


• To date, over 5,000 customers have participated in the Energy Conservation Assistance Program. With the energy efficient upgrades and simple behavioural changes, a household could realize savings of around $250 a year.
 
• ECAP is aimed at low-income customers with higher energy usage.
 
• To date, over 52,000 Energy Savings Kits have been distributed free of charge to British Columbians.
 
• For either BC Hydro customers using electricity to heat their home or FortisBC natural gas customers using gas heated space and water, customers can save on average up to $100 per year with Energy Savings Kits.
 
• Combined, the ECAP and Energy Savings Kits are saving over 17 gigawatt hours per year, or enough electricity to power over 1,500 homes for a year. With the expansion of the program to include FortisBC natural gas customers the potential for energy savings is now even greater.

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For more information please contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
Direct: 604 928 6468
Web: bchydro.com/media
 
Tracy Tang
Corporate Communications Advisor
FortisBC
Phone: 604-592-7632
Email: Tracy.Tang@fortisbc.com
fortisbc.com