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Hitting the streets to help businesses conserve energy and reduce emissions
Sep 16, 2019
FortisBC’s street-level energy evaluations are back for businesses in Kelowna, Rossland and Penticton this fall
Kelowna, BC, September 16, 2019 ¬– FortisBC has hired Kelowna firm, GreenStep Solutions, to visit more than 900 storefront retailers, restaurants and offices from September to November 2019 and provide free, onsite energy-efficiency evaluations and ongoing support.
“Small businesses are key to vibrant, healthy communities, and this support can help them lower their costs and operate more sustainably,” said Danielle Wensink, director, conservation and energy management, FortisBC. “We find small businesses appreciate this one-on-one approach, especially those that want to do more but may not have the time or expertise to determine where to start or manage equipment upgrades.”
The visit provides business owners with a clear understanding of how they are spending the majority of their energy dollars, whether that’s maintaining room temperatures, meeting hot water needs or cooking food. In addition to simple no-cost and low-cost tips to save, business owners also learn what equipment upgrades they can make to achieve long-term savings specific to their operations. Those that plan to invest in upgrades over the next year receive ongoing support to implement energy-efficiency upgrades and access rebates.
To help participants start saving immediately, they also receive an energy-saving device. Commercial kitchens receive an energy-efficient pre-rinse spray valve that can reduce water use by 50 per cent or more and save on water heating costs. Other businesses receive a smart power strip that helps manage and reduce the electricity devices use in standby mode.
Councillor Loyal Wooldridge, City of Kelowna, and owner of Loyal Hair Therapy, was among the first to sign up and is encouraging other local businesses to do the same.
“Climate action goals are achieved with daily actions by many people. As a local business owner, I see it as a responsibility to find new ways to minimize our energy consumption and protect our planet,” said Wooldridge. “Our salon is busy and uses a lot of water and electricity. FortisBC’s one-on-one approach empowers us to find new, innovative, cost effective ways to manage our use. Big changes happen one business at a time--I encourage others to embrace this opportunity as well.”
Small businesses in Kelowna can book a visit from now to November 29, in Rossland from September 30 to October 4 and in Penticton from October 7 to November 29.
Providing direct support for small businesses is just one of the ways FortisBC is working to make energy efficiency more accessible for all of its customers. In 2018, the company’s $42 million investment in energy conservation helped customers reduce their annual electricity use by 31,000 megawatt hours and natural gas use by 626,000 gigajoules. FortisBC is working to triple this investment by 2022.
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