LiveSmart program extended

The LiveSmart B.C. Business Energy Advisor program launches second round of free energy assessments.

The LiveSmart B.C. Business Energy Advisor program has officially launched its second round of free energy assessments with even more opportunities for businesses in the Thompson Okanagan.

Funding for the program, which includes cash rebates and incentives from both Fortis B.C. and B.C. Hydro, has officially been extended until March 31, 2013.

This time around, 200 small businesses and 150 restaurants will be eligible to receive a free energy assessment delivered by a LiveSmart B.C. qualified business energy advisor. The advisor’s roles is to help identify areas where businesses can save energy such as lighting, heating, cooling and hot water heating.

On average, businesses that received energy assessments last year had the potential annual savings of $1,000, and could access $1,300 in rebates, with an estimated payback period of 2.5 years and savings of 10,224 kWh in electricity.

The free energy assessments provide a baseline for small businesses to understand how they fare in terms of energy efficiency, and then connect business owners with opportunities for rebates, energy efficient technology and cost savings. Recommendations from the assessments have been widely accepted with more than 100 of the 300 original participants taking the next step by implementing energy-saving initiatives in their workplaces.

Funded through the LiveSmart program, business energy advisors from Kelowna-based GreenStep Sustainability Coaching have been contracted by the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association and Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. GreenStep’s business energy advisors identify opportunities for energy reductions through energy assessments, help small businesses apply for incentives to fund these opportunities, and connect them with contractors to complete the upgrades.

The LiveSmart B.C. program is targeted to reach more than 4,000 participants over three years.  The program is forecasted to save 82.5 GWh of electricity and 39,500 GJ of natural gas, enough energy to power 9,347 homes for a year; or more than $7 million in utility costs each year once complete.

The program is provided at no cost to participating small businesses. Businesses can call GreenStep at 250-862-8941, or visit www.livesmartbc.ca/incentives/small-business/, to book an assessment.