Castlegar enjoys multi-level wins for excellence in stewardship

FortisBC PowerSense
By FortisBC PowerSense
May 9th, 2018

Today, FortisBC recognized 10 regional organizations who achieved outstanding energy savings in their sectors over the past year.

“The people at these organizations are leading the way in reducing energy use in our communities,” said Dennis Swanson, vice president, energy supply and resource development, FortisBC. “We applaud their drive to go beyond standard energy efficiency, their creativity in finding affordable ways to incorporate this into their projects and their success in gaining support within their organizations. We’re proud to have been a part of it.”

The annual Efficiency in Action Awards recognize customers who incorporated higher than standard energy efficiency into their projects and achieved significant energy savings. Through their combined efforts, this year’s award recipients reduced natural gas use by more than 12,000 gigajoules annually, which is equivalent to the annual natural gas use of approximately 140 homes in B.C. They also reduced electricity use by approximately 6,700 megawatt hours – the equivalent of the annual electricity use of about 600 homes.

“Together this helps meet B.C.’s climate action goals, reduces costs in their operations and lessens the need for new utility infrastructure, which helps keep rates lower for all customers,” added Swanson.

Central Okanagan Public Schools and Interior Health led the way in reducing energy use in the region by pursuing higher energy efficiency year after year in both their new projects and facility upgrades.

“We’re always looking for ways to creatively reduce energy use,” said Harold Schock, energy and sustainability manager, Central Okanagan Public Schools. “It lowers the cost of the utilities and puts more money into the classrooms. In fact, we’ve kept the school district’s utility budget the same since 2010 despite growing our floor space by five per cent.”

Interior Health continues to build their facilities to high-efficiency standards to both manage ongoing utility costs and lower their overall energy footprint.

“Health care is very energy-intensive, impacting the environment, our budgets and, ultimately, the services we provide to the people in our care. That’s why we’re focused on environmental sustainability,” said Donna Lommer, vice president, support services & chief financial officer, Interior Health. “By embedding sustainability principles and practices into our every day, we are improving our environmental footprint and financial health, as well as focusing our resources where it’s needed most – on patient, client and resident care.”

This year’s winners represent just a small fraction of the work being done across the province each year to reduce energy use in our homes, institutions and industries. FortisBC supports thousands of customers each year and in 2017 alone, provided customers with approximately $26 million in incentives to help lower natural gas and electricity usage. As a result, these customers reduced their natural gas use by approximately 533,000 gigajoules, or the equivalent annual natural gas use of close to 6,000 homes, and their electricity use by 27,800 megawatt hours, or the equivalent annual electricity use of about 2,600 homes. This work is helping B.C. meet its climate goals and keep rates lower for everyone.

The 2018 Efficiency in Action Award recipients are:




Large commercial customer

Central Okanagan Public Schools


Industrial customer

Interfor Corporation, Castlegar Division


Public sector – provincial

Interior Health

various locations

Public sector – municipal

City of Castlegar



Kelly/Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Restaurants & Pubs

various locations

Medium commercial customer

Orchard Park Shopping Centre, managed by Primaris Management Inc.


Small commercial customer

The Innovation Centre, Sustainable Innovation Group LP


Multi-family project

Sendero Gate Townhomes Ltd. a division of Azura Management Corp.


Single family project

Alder Projects Ltd.

West Kelowna

Single family builder

Lithium One Homes Ltd.

Prince George


For more about these winners and their award-winning projects, visit fortisbc.com/commercialawards.


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