Energy Incentive Series: BC Hydro Continuous Optimization Program

Energy Incentive Series
By: Tiffany Richmond

The next incentive discussed in our series is BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization Program. This program is a part of BC Hydro’s Power Smart program for commercial buildings.

What is it?

The BC Hydro Continuous Optimization program focuses on operational conservation measures, “low or no-cost” measures that do not require the purchase and installation of new equipment. The program helps commercial building optimize the energy efficiency of their building(s) and sustain these efficiency levels over time.

The program consists of two main components:

  1. Assisting commercial building owners in re-commissioning their buildings. Re-commissioning consultants used in this program are Power Smart Alliance members. There are 5 phases in the re-commissioning component:
    • Planning – initial site-walkthrough, review of current operating procedures
    • Investigation – identify findings, prioritize and select operational improvements
    • Implementation – implement selected opportunities
    • Hand Off – training on EMIS and processes
    • Coaching – providing coaching sessions for continuous improvement
  2. Helping maintain and continually improve the level of efficiency of building operations through an Energy Management Information System (EMIS). Energy Advantage, in partnership with Energent, is one of three companies listed on BC Hydro’s approved EMIS vendors list.

What is the incentive?

Incentive Description
100% Of cost for a re-commissioning consultant to study your building and recommend energy efficiency improvements, provide training of the building operators and conduct follow-up coaching sessions.
100% Installation of an EMIS.

Note: the customer is responsible for 100% of the implementation costs for energy efficiency measure identified in the re-commissioning study.

Who can apply for this incentive?

  • Buildings that are larger than 50,000 square feet
  • Have a building automation system in good working order
  • Can provide documentation including mechanical and electrical schematics; control drawings; testing, adjusting and balancing reports; and operation and maintenance reports
  • Have no plans to implement energy conservation measures over the next year. These measures include operation, retrofits and behavioural (i.e. Workplace Conservation Awareness)
  • Have a building that has been occupied for at least one year of full operations

BC Hydro asks in return for the incentive that customers must commit to implement, at their cost, electricity and fuel (including natural gas, steam, hot water, propane, etc.) measures that when bundled have a two-year simple payback. It’s important to note that some customers may have to implement meters at their cost as well.

The Continuous Optimization Program has been running for over three years and has seen impressive results. On average, buildings that completed the investigation phase show a 10.8% overall cost reduction on average, with a 2.1 year simple payback.

To learn more about the Continuous Optimization Program click here.

Tiffany Richmond has over five years of experience as a marketing professional and is responsible for online marketing strategies at Energy Advantage Inc.

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