FortisBC customers achieve record energy savings in 2021
September 6, 2022 By Staff
Upgrades completed in 2021 with the support of energy conservation rebates will achieve over a million gigajoules of annual energy savings
Energy reductions hit an all-time high last year as more people than ever took part in FortisBC Energy Inc. and FortisBC Inc. energy conservation programs.
FortisBC provides a detailed analysis of the results of its energy conservation measure to the BC Utilities Commission each year. These reports show that customers who participated in its programs in 2021 are conserving more than 1.1 million gigajoules of natural gas each year over the life of these upgrades, the equivalent annual natural gas use of about 12,300 homes.
That’s up 18 per cent over 2020. The decrease in associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is expected to be equivalent to removing almost 18,000 gas-powered cars from the road permanently.
“Given the immediate need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. and beyond, this shows how impactful it is to incorporate energy efficiency when we upgrade our homes and businesses—these collective actions add up to significant reductions,” said Colin Norman, manager, conservation and energy management, FortisBC. “This is great progress towards meeting aggressive targets set by the province to decrease emissions and we plan to continue to work with our customers to do even more in the coming years.”
Utilities in B.C. have long provided rebates and incentives to support customers in reducing their energy use because it both lowers GHG emissions and helps customers manage their energy costs. 2021 was the third year of a four-year plan for FortisBC to triple investment in energy savings programs from 2016 levels. In 2021, it invested $120 million in both natural gas and electricity-saving programs. This year, its investment in natural gas programs has already exceeded its 2018 investment by more than 200 per cent.
A significant portion of these savings, 26 per cent, were achieved by residential customers who took part in rebates for high-efficiency space and water heating appliances as well as rebates to improve prevent air leakage in homes. That effort is leaving money in participants’ pockets. In addition to getting cash back through rebates and incentives, customers who made rebate-supported upgrades last year including commercial and industrial customers, are expected to avoid an estimated combined total of $3.8 million in energy costs each year over the life of these upgrades.
“While we’re pleased with these results, we know that our efforts to introduce high-performance gas heat pumps, meet higher energy-efficiency building policies and advance even deeper levels of air sealing strategies in homes and businesses will decrease GHG emissions even more in the coming years,” said Norman.
Increasing investment in conservation and energy efficiency programs and developing innovative energy solutions for homes and businesses is one of the ways FortisBC is supporting the Province of B.C. in achieving deep carbon reductions by 2050 as set out in its CleanBC plan.
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