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Distribution project incentives

Managers in assembly plant

Get funding for energy efficiency upgrades

Get up to 75% funding (to a maximum of $500,000) for your energy efficiency upgrade projects and improve the payback on your investment to as little as one year.  

This is for you if...

  • You're a large general service rate customer.
  • Your project or group of projects will save at least 50 megawatt-hours per year.
  • Your project involves a hard-wired facility upgrade with an expected lifespan of five years or more.
  • Your projected payback period is greater than one year (prior to incentive application).
  • Your site has been operational for a minimum of six months prior to application.

Connect with your Key Account Manager or call the Business Helpdesk to find out if you qualify.

What you get

Comprehensive incentive

The funding covers all aspects of your project, including design, equipment, installation, disposal and tax.

Your incentive rate is determined after we perform a financial evaluation. The incentive rate ranges from $0.015 to $0.029 per kilowatt hour.

How it works

To determine the total project incentive, we use the smallest of the following three amounts up to a maximum of $500,000:

  • 75% of the project costs.
  • The amount needed to reduce the payback period to one year.
  • The total lifespan electricity savings multiplied by the eligible incentive rate.
  • See an example of a project calculation.

Note: You must have approval of your incentive application (in the form of a signed agreement) before purchasing equipment and/or commencing your project


  • Self-serve incentives
    Apply for incentives for compressed air system (between 40 and 300 horsepower) or lighting retrofit projects through our online application.
  • New plant design
    Funding and design expertise is available for a new energy efficient plant or expansion.
  • Transmission project incentives
    Funding is available for a variety of larger and more complex energy efficiency projects. For transmission rate customers who use more than one gigawatt-hour of electricity per year.

Sample calculation for a distribution project incentive

If you were planning a system upgrade that would cost $200,000 and save 1,000,000 kWh per year for 10 years, here’s how we’d calculate your project incentive:

Pre-incentive calculation
Without any project incentives, this project would pay for itself in two and a half years.

Project costs
Projected annual savings
Payback period


2.5 years

Incentive calculation
The available incentive is determined by the lowest of three calculations below:

  • 75% of the project cost: $200,000 × 75% = $150,000
  • The amount needed to reduce the payback period to one year (i.e. the project cost less one year's savings)
    $200,000 - $80,000 = $120,000
  • The total lifespan electricity savings multiplied by the eligible incentive rate:
    1,000,000 kWh/yr × 10 years × $0.016/kWh** = $160,000

Therefore, this project is capped at the amount needed to reduce the payback period to one year – in this case, $120,000.

After incentive
With a project incentive of $120,000, your project costs are reduced and the payback period reduced to one year. Of course, this project will also continue to save on energy costs for 10 years.

To calculate the total project savings:

Final project costs (after incentive)
Payback period
Lifespan electricity savings
BC Hydro project incentive

Total project savings


1 year


* Based on 1,000,000 kWh per year for 10 years at a typical rate savings of $0.08/kWh. Rate is for example only and does not factor in taxes or net present value (NPV).

** The incentive rate is determined after a financial evaluation by BC Hydro and ranges from $0.015 to $0.029 per kWh.