April 16, 2012
Marketing Supplement to Ottawa Business Journal
Are power costs draining your bottom line?
Hydro Ottawa pays customers to save money
Last year, Hydro Ottawa helped 350 area businesses reduce their operating costs and boost their bottom lines with $4.5 million in cash incentives through the provincial saveONenergy Retrofit Program.
Hydro Ottawa also helped an additional 1,500 small business customers by conducting a brief energy audit of their facility and then installing updated lighting through the Small Business Lighting Program.
“With the support of the Ontario Power Authority, Hydro Ottawa offers a variety of incentives that allow large and small businesses to easily and economically reduce their electricity bills and their ongoing maintenance costs,” said Bruce Bibby, Hydro Ottawa’s manager of energy conservation.
From overhead lighting in a professional office or convenience store, to grocery store refrigeration units and office tower mechanical systems, Hydro Ottawa’s incentive programs can cover up to 40 per cent of the cost of switching to energy-efficient alternatives. This allows businesses to save money up front and realize the benefits of reduced operating costs for years to come.
The Small Business Lighting Program
Through the Small Business Lighting Program, a licensed electrical contractor will review the existing lights and fixtures and if appropriate, replace them with energy-efficient alternatives, up to a value of $1,000. In most cases, $1,000 will renovate the lighting in the entire facility. Beyond the dollar savings, these customers also end up with significantly improved lighting in their businesses. The program is available to smaller businesses that receive their electricity bills bi-monthly, such as clothing stores, independent restaurants, dry cleaners, medical offices, beauty salons, convenience stores and garages.
The Retrofit Program
For larger businesses, the Retrofit Program provides financial incentives to replace existing inefficient equipment with higher-efficiency alternatives (such as lighting, HVAC and chiller upgrades, motors, fans and variable speed drives). The program also offsets the cost of installing new control systems that will improve operational procedures and processes.
“There are some specific processes to follow when participating in these programs, but once the project is complete participants can typically receive their incentive within a few weeks,” said Bibby. “Call us to learn more about how to qualify and apply for our saveONenergy programs. If you are a licensed contractor, we can also help you understand how you can incorporate the value of our incentive programs into your quotes to your customers for new construction and retrofit projects.”
To learn more about how Hydro Ottawa can help you reduce your operating costs, please visit www.hydroottawa.com/commercial or call 613-738-5474.
Toss Salon Inc. is a local hair salon that invested $328 to upgrade its lighting and received $1,136 in incentives from the Small Business Lighting program. The retrofit will reduce its annual electricity consumption by 5,818 kWh – enough to power an average home for seven months.
“The lighting that I had here had not been changed in 15 years and I felt it was a little out of date,” said Toss Salon President Todd Christopher. “In small business you are always looking at your bottom line and if I can increase my bottom line through conservation, it would be worthwhile and it is worthwhile.”
Giant Tiger has received over $25,000 in incentives from Hydro Ottawa’s Retrofit Program. Thirty-six of Giant Tiger’s Ontario locations have invested in multiple retrofit projects and other green initiatives which have produced significant cost savings. In Ottawa and Casselman alone, the stores will save over 400,000 kWh of power annually — or about $40,000 each year.
“My advice to business owners would be to stop repairing old equipment and make changes that will help save energy and reduce costs in the long term,” said Christine English, Giant Tiger’s Director of Administration, Facilities Management, and Health and Safety. There are many simple energy retrofits that will pay for themselves in less than two years. Hydro Ottawa’s Retrofit Program has helped us keep our costs low, which we can pass on in savings to our customers.”
PHOTO ABOVE: Bruce Bibby, Hydro Ottawa’s manager of energy conservation.