With funding from the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program, Metro Vancouver helped 300 small businesses improve their energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs in 2014.
Metro Vancouver hired City Green to provide businesses with free energy advisor services and better access to efficient technologies and incentives. Business energy assessments were delivered in 15 Metro Vancouver municipalities to 14 business sectors: food manufacturing, health/medical, hospitality, long-term care, manufacturing, office, recreation, restaurant, retail, school, service, small industrial, transport, and wholesale/distribution.
Of the 300 businesses that participated, 31 completed upgrades leading to energy savings and emission reductions, and 58 upgrades are in progress. If all of these upgrades are completed, City Green estimates that the program will save 890,000 kWh, which is enough electricity for about 890 homes for one year, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 12.5 tonnes.
Key findings from Metro Vancouver's experience with the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program include:
- Collaboration with local government staff and endorsement from municipal councils was crucial,
- Working with industry associations, business improvement associations, utilities, and boards of trade ensured effective and efficient outreach,
- The LiveSmart BC Program encourages changes to electricity consumption resulting in substantial energy savings, however, greenhouse-gas emission reductions were lower than expected,
- Future programs should be designed for longer than one year to allow businesses time for required renovations, to raise capital for investment, consider seasonality, staff changes, and equipment cycles. A longer program period would also allow for better tracking and provide better understanding of the program's true performance.
Based on this program and previous pilot projects, Metro Vancouver is designing a new business program to focus on blending services like providing training in tracking greenhouse-gas emissions and energy use. The new program will aim to recruit businesses with the greatest potential for greenhouse-gas emission reductions and to build longer-term relationships with them.
In 2012 Metro Vancouver, our municipal partners and Climate Smart provided over 300 businesses with GHG management training. Many of these businesses have made changes, cumulatively eliminating over 5,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (as of December 2012), equivalent to taking about 1100 cars off the road every year.
Watch the following videos to learn about several businesses who completed this training: