Non-profit housing nets savings through energy-efficient lighting upgrades
FortisBC is partnering with the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and other organizations that provide services to low income families to retrofit multi-family buildings in Kelowna and the South Okanagan with energy efficient lighting at no cost to the non-profit housing groups.
“Upgrading to energy efficient lighting in the common areas alone can result in cost savings for non-profit organizations. This is money that can be better spent on programs and assisting tenants. The upgrades not only save money but improve the overall lighting quality in the buildings,” said Tom Loski, vice president, customer service, FortisBC. “We’re certainly pleased to partner on this program that will assist in reducing electricity bills and make these homes more comfortable.”
“These much needed energy efficiency retrofit projects are focused on upgrading lighting and lighting controls in common areas, hallways, exit signs and some suites. Most importantly, FortisBC worked very closely with us to specify products that maximize project life cycle value, minimize maintenance costs, and specifically meet the needs in the properties,” explains Mary McWilliam, director of strategic energy management, BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
This will save more than 1.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually through the 48 buildings that have been retrofit so far. Building include the Cross Roads Treatment Facility, the Cross Roads Women’s Centre, the Father Delestre Housing Society and the New Opportunities for Women (NOW) emergency shelter. The program will continue throughout 2012, targeting the remainder of the Okanagan region and moving into the Kootenays.
“Our emergency shelter was built in the 1950s. Upgrades such as these are always something that we want to do but because we’re non-profit, money is typically directed towards programming,” explains Liz Talbot, executive director of New Opportunities for Women (NOW) in Kelowna. “We’re extremely grateful that upgrades were completed at both 21-units of affordable housing and at our 20-bed homeless shelter. It was a fantastic process and every little bit of help counts.”
The BC Non-Profit Housing Association is an instrumental partner in this initiative. The organization first identifies properties which qualify for the program and notifies the society about the requirements and opportunities. FortisBC will complete a lighting inventory and proposed retrofit list for each society and then will commission an electrician to implement the project.
FortisBC has also identified independently owned buildings and commercial businesses that provide services to low income families such as the Salvation Army and food banks. This article is a press release from FortisBC.
FortisBC is committed to helping all customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both financial incentives and advice on energy efficient technologies and practices. Since its inception in 1989, FortisBC’s PowerSense program has helped southern interior electricity customers save more than 425 gigawatt hours (GWh), enough electricity to power over 32,000 homes for a year.