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B.C. program helps small businesses save money and energy

By Sara Bedal |

Entrepreneurs in B.C. who may not have the time, information or resources to make energy-efficient improvements to their businesses can now get free advice, equipment and incentives.

B.C.'s Ministry of Energy recently launched LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program, a three-year initiative tailored to meet the needs of key sectors such as accommodations, retail, agriculture and offices. More than $4.5 million of the $15-million program will go towards upgrades in the restaurant industry.

The program builds on the residential LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program and has four components:

  • Business Energy Advisors will deliver free energy assessments, help owners tap into available product incentives and cash rebates, and help co-ordinate product installation.
  • Direct Installation will fund 100 per cent of the cost of replacing and installing select energy-efficient equipment such as lighting and pre-rinse spray valves for commercial kitchens.
  • Enhanced Product Incentives will increase cash rebates for more than 10,000 energy-efficient products.
  • LiveSmart Champion is an open call for businesses to access funding for new, innovative ways to conserve energy.

Once complete, the LiveSmart Small Business program should save businesses over $7 million in utility costs and 82.5GWh of electricity per year, enough to power 7,500 homes. More than 4,000 small businesses are expected to benefit from direct installation and incentives, helping B.C. reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

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