February 04, 2011
Small businesses in the Okanagan and Kootenays can now upgrade to energy-efficient lighting systems at virtually no cost, thanks to a new program sponsored by the Province of British Columbia and FortisBC.
By Anthony Capkun
FLIP stands for “FortisBC/LiveSmartBC Lighting Installation Program”. The $5- million program will arrange for, and provide eligible small businesses with, the direct installation of up to $5500 in energy-efficient equipment, such as lamps, occupancy sensors and controls.
“FLIP is one of the first big initiatives to be funded from our LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program,” said Steve Thomson, minister of energy. “We know small business owners are busy, and this program makes the installation of energy-efficient lighting as easy as possible. We’re starting here in the Okanagan but are working to extend these types of direct installation services right across B.C.”
“At FortisBC, we are committed to energy-efficiency programs that meet our customer’s current and future energy needs,” said Michael Mulcahy, executive VP of customer and corporate services for FortisBC and Terasen Gas. “The potential to conserve energy within the small businesses sector is significant. By removing barriers such as upfront costs, we can address this underserved sector and create lasting benefits.”
The FLIP program is available to small- and mid-size businesses that have spent less than $20,000 in electricity over the preceding 12 months. FortisBC-approved contractors will visit participating small businesses to perform lighting audits, identify potential upgrades and schedule licensed electricians to install the equipment and systems.
The average small business is expected to save nearly 8000 kWh/year, or more than $800 annually. The FLIP program hopes to reach 1000 small businesses over the next two years and reduce total electricity use by nearly 9 GWh.
Businesses must be within the FortisBC service area, a municipal electric customer of Grand Forks, Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland and Nelson Hydro or located in West Kelowna, Peachland, Central and East Kootenays (Slocan Valley, Cranbrook, Fernie, Kimberly and Invermere).
To learn more about the FortisBC/LiveSmart Lighting Installation Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 932-8283.