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Businesses signing up for ‘Power Savings Blitz’

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Billed as a way to “save electricity, save money, and help the environment,” the “Power Savings Blitz” program is drawing area small businesses to sign up for a free assessment and $300-1,000 in energy retrofits.

The Fort Frances Power Corp. and Thunder Bay Hydro were on hand to promote the program, sponsored by the Ontario Power Authority and first launched in November, yesterday evening during the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s “Business After Hours” upstairs at La Place Rendez-Vous.

Lori Cain, cost and regulatory analyst for the FFPC, said that as of the end of yesterday, just over 30 local businesses had signed up—double the FFPC’s goal of 15.

“We’re really happy about it, but we’re going to push to get as many businesses on board as we can,” she stressed, noting the deadline to sign up is March 31.

It’s not too late to sign up the “Power Savings Blitz,” said Cain, adding small businesses are encouraged to call the FFPC (274-9291) for more information.

The program offers a free electricity assessment, as well as funding up to $1,000 for lighting and water heating retrofits for small commercial businesses.

Energy assessors working for the FFPC will go door-to-door to those businesses that have signed up and offer free energy assessment of lighting and water heating to determine cost and savings opportunities.

After the assessment is complete, the business will choose if it wishes to proceed with a retrofit. Participants may pay costs over the limit at their discretion, but the minimum amount for a retrofit is $300.

The program is open to small commercial businesses in the office or non-food sub-sectors, with an electricity demand of less than 50kW (food-related businesses have unique requirements that may be addressed by other programs in the future).

The goal is to reduce electricity consumption and provide electricity savings through relatively simple upgrades, like installing energy-efficient T8 lighting and insulating water heaters.

FFPC president and CEO Joerg Ruppenstein said the “Power Savings Blitz” is an excellent program and encouraged as many eligible businesses as possible to sign up.

“We’re very pleased [with the response so far,” he enthused. “We really like to promote these conservation programs. We feel it’s a win-win for everybody.

“We’ve had some success through the ERIP [Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program] program, we’ve done some lighting retrofits as far as retrofitting rinks around the area, but this is actually my favourite program that’s come out from the OPA.

“I am very pleased with it.”

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