Getting an energy audit
In 2012, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce hosted the Province of BC’s LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program for a second year.
As a host, the Chamber employed a contract Business Energy Advisor, Sorin Pasca, to deliver free business energy audits to small businesses in Prince George and the surrounding Cariboo region including Fort St. James.(MacKenzie, McBride, Vanderhoof, 100 Mile, etc.).
Regional engagement has been high with more than 150 energy assessments provided during program delivery, more than 71 completed projects, and approximately 587,000 kilowatt-hours of potential savings in power.
Additionally, the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program launched the LiveSmart BC Champion Program in January 2011. The LiveSmart Champion Program provided funding to small businesses that demonstrate leadership in their community by developing creative methods to save energy within their business operations. Fortunately, out of a total of 12 provincial projects, two Prince George small businesses were selected as Champions and received funding totalling $50,000 to implement innovative energy-saving solutions within their business operations.
The two projects have demonstrated creativity in reducing the energy consumption and they employ innovative methods that will be beneficial to other companies in our business community. “These proposals represent an unprecedented opportunity for our province to continue a legacy of leadership in the field of clean energy technology” says Scott Scholefield, RPF, owner of Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc.
The two local projects included:
Polar Refrigeration Service Ltd. (www.polarservices.ca) will replace their heating and cooling system with new energy-efficient models. These units will then be tied into a solar panel system and any excess energy will be purchased back by BC Hydro through their Net Metering program. A unique feature of this solar system will be performance-monitoring website and controls, which will allow Polar Refrigeration to keep track of building energy usage and see environmental benefits in real time.
Sunset Pines Greenhouse, in partnership with Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc. (turtlebackbiochar.com/), aims to reduce the massive energy consumption currently required to heat the greenhouse with propane by using a revolutionary biochar furnace system that will reduce propane use by up to 50 per cent. The system uses a high temperature thermal decomposition process to divert waste biomass, produce renewable heat energy and sequester carbon while producing a valuable natural soil-enhancement product that can be used in the greenhouse.
This highly innovative pilot-project represents the first opportunity for Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc. to utilize a biochar heating technology in this capacity and it is first of its kind in British Columbia.
You can contact either Michael Thelitz with Sunset Pines Greenhouse or Scott Scholefield with Out of Ashes BioEnergy for details about the project.
Local businesses, wanting to save money and become more energy efficient, can book their free energy assessment today by contacting Sorin Pasca at 250-562-2454 or by visiting www.pgchamber.bc.ca.