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Survey says... you want training on incentive programs

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Our first two education sessions in January will focus on lighting, one on what's new, the other on LEDs and safety. See below for details.

New training aimed at filling gaps in Alliance members' knowledge

A big thanks to everyone who filled out our recent Alliance survey in July. We learned a whole lot from the survey, and we've take action on a number of the suggestions you gave us.

To start, here are a few things you told us in the survey:

  • You'd like more training and information specific to BC Hydro's incentive programs
  • You like the idea of workshops, and you prefer that they happen first thing in the morning so you can still get in a full day with your customers
  • You're big on in-person events, because they're also a great chance to network
  • You don't think our incentives are big enough, and you'd like them to apply to a wider range of technologies and products.

Education sessions starting in January will focus on industry trends

Thanks to your feedback, we're going to jump right into breakfast sessions starting in January, kicking off our Industry Trend Series with the following two sessions:

Session: What's new in lighting?
Date: Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Location: Executive Plaza Hotel, 405 North Road, Coquitlam
Speaker: Cristian Suvagau, Conservation & Energy Management Engineering, BC Hydro
Description: See how the lighting market is transforming, due to LED products, and discover the newest technologies and latest trends in the industry. The presentation will be followed by a program update from the Alliance team including a recap of the webinar sessions taking place in January.

Session: LEDs and Safety
Date: Thursday, February 1st, 2018 7:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Location: Executive Plaza Hotel, 405 North Road, Coquitlam
Speaker: Brian Friedman, Conservation & Energy Management Engineering, BC Hydro
Description: Gain an overview of LED technology and an understanding of potential safety issues. This presentation is intended for new Alliance members or industry members who are new to the lighting industry and have minimal knowledge and experience with LED lighting. The presentation will be followed by a program update from the Alliance team including a re-cap of the webinar sessions taking place in January.

The format for these sessions will be to have a guest speaker on an interesting industry topic or emerging trend, followed by a program update from the Alliance group. In addition to gaining insight on industry trends and programs updates, these events are always a great opportunity to network with others in the industry. The Industry Trend Series will take place quarterly beginning in 2018 and the topics we are exploring include: lighting, electrification of transportation, capacity focused demand response, and a number of other topics.

About those incentive levels...

We've heard loud and clear that you want sweetened incentives across a larger span of technologies. While we understand the interest in seeing incentive levels raised and made available across a wider span there are some important factors that shape the incentive portion of our programs.

One such factor is program success. Our programs have always operated with an annual budget and we are finding that with the ongoing popularity of our programs we are now reaching our budget earlier in the year.

In addition to the program budget, there are a number of other factors which determine how much incentive funding we can make available in our programs. Every project is different and incentives reflect a formula which looks at the product, configuration, technology being replaced, hours used per year, estimated maintenance savings, the cost of the whole project, and how the market has changed over time.

There are two important factors - legislation and market adoption - which impact the span of technologies in which we offer incentives. Federal legislation affects the baseline standards that BC Hydro uses when determining the products or technologies that are eligible to receive incentives. Essentially, our incentives are in place to help support customers to go beyond the minimum requirements established in legislation and as that standard moves so do our incentives.

The more the market adopts a certain efficient product, the risks and the price of the product generally decrease and the incentives typically decrease as well. When the market passes a tipping point and becomes the de facto standard, we end our incentive. The market will continue transforming without incentives, until a new more efficient product is introduced and we look to offer up incentives again. The cycle of market transformation then starts over.

We'd like to stress that just because we don't offer incentives on certain technologies, doesn't mean that a product can't be cost-effective in saving a lot of energy and money. We understand that your customers may ask you why a product or solution you are specifying doesn't have an incentive and we hope the above explanation will be helpful for you in these conversations with you customers.