By Anthony Capkun
October 20, 2021 – FortisBC reports that many entrepreneurs in British Columbia—particularly in the food service industry—made significant contributions toward the province’s climate action goals by investing in high-efficiency equipment upgrades.
“Small businesses are vital to our communities, and we’re thankful to work with so many that are prioritizing energy efficiency projects despite the challenges they’ve faced over the last two years,” said Lynne Williams, FortisBC program specialist, conservation and energy management.
Two of FortisBC’s energy efficiency and conservation programs saw a substantial increase in participation during the pandemic. Close to 600 small business owners signed up for a free virtual energy assessment with FortisBC partner, GreenStep Solutions, to identify opportunities for saving energy, reducing GHG emissions and lowering operating costs.
Many owners also upgraded to high-efficiency equipment, taking advantage of rebates to help offset the upfront investment.
The investments made by restaurant owners alone through equipment rebates from January to August 2021 collectively saved more than 11,000 gigajoules of natural gas, says FortisBC—the equivalent used to heat around 130 homes for one year.
On average, restaurants participating in FortisBC energy efficiency programs received around $3500 in incentives, leading to an estimated annual savings of $1350. An upgrade to a high-efficiency double-rack oven can save over an estimated $2000 annually and around $26,000 over its expected lifetime, says the utility.