Both firms will work together to visit more than 900 storefront retailers, restaurants and offices in Penticton, Kelowna and Rossland, to provide free, onsite one-on-one energy efficiency evaluations.
Danielle Wensink, Director of Conservation and Energy Management with FortisBC, expresses that starting with mall businesses is important to create vibrant and sustainable communities.
“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,” said Wensink.
Businesses will be able to apply for a free assessment through the FortisBC website and will have the choice of applying for a basic or enhanced evaluation.
The basic evaluation provides small businesses with a 15 to 20 minute-long evaluation where business owners will learn how they are spending the majority of their energy dollars.
This will include assessing how much of their operations costs are going to maintaining room temperatures, meeting hot water needs or lighting up space, etc.
The enhanced evaluation includes a more in-depth evaluation with a report that includes estimated savings and recommended contractors to make energy approvements within the next year.
In addition to learning about energy usage, businesses will also be provided with no-cost and low-cost tips to minimize energy consumption, along with learning about what equipment may need upgrades to help save on longterm operational costs.
City of Kelowna Councillor Loyal Wooldridge and owner of Loyal Hair Therapy was one of the first to apply for an energy assessment. Wooldridge hopes this incentive will encourage small businesses to look into resources that will help manage and reduce their energy use.
“Climate action goals are achieved with daily actions by many people. And as a business owner, I see it as a responsibility to find new ways to minimize our energy consumption and protect our planet,” said Wooldridge.
Wooldridge said his salon uses a lot of energy and water, and the one-on-one assessment approach made a big difference in figuring out innovative approaches to implement in his business in order to cut down on his salon’s energy use.
“Big changes happen one at a time and I encourage others to embrace this opportunity as well,” said Wooldridge.