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BC small businesses gain free energy efficiency advice via LiveSmart BC


February 4, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

Small businesses across British Columbia now have access to free energy-efficiency advice, equipment and incentives with the new LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program, announced Steve Thomson, minister of energy, who launched the program at the BC Foodservice Expo.

The $15-million, three-year LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program will be tailored to meet the needs of key sectors such accommodations, retail, agriculture and offices, and with more than $4.5 million allocated for upgrades in the restaurant industry.

“This program was designed with small business and restaurant owners in mind. We want to make efficiency upgrades easy and affordable so entrepreneurs can focus on what matters most: serving their customers,” said Thomson. “The support and products offered through the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program can save businesses thousands of dollars in equipment and utility costs.”

Building on the residential LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program, this new program will support small businesses owners who may not have the time, information or resources to make energy efficient improvements.

There are four components:

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

“The restaurant industry welcomes this program to assist an energy dependent sector to become more energy-efficient,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. “We’re grateful to government to have the foresight to assist small businesses in saving time and money as they become more energy-efficient.”

Once complete, the LiveSmart Small Business program is forecast to save businesses over $7 million in utility costs and 82.5GW/h of electricity per year. More than 4000 small businesses are expected to benefit from direct installation and incentives, helping B.C. reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020.

CLICK HERE for more on the program, including eligibility.