Energy efficient lighting pays off for Kelowna chamber

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce meetings are now easier on the eye and that doesn’t have as much to do with the directors sitting around the table as it does with a new energy efficient lighting installation.

  • Feb. 4, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce meetings are now easier on the eye and that doesn’t have as much to do with the directors sitting around the table as it does with a new energy efficient lighting installation.

The chamber was the first local business to take part in a new program announced Friday by Fortis BC and the provincial government.

The Fortis BC/LivesmartBC Lighting Installation Program (FLIP) will allow small businesses in the Okanagan to upgrade to energy efficient lighting, with FLIP covering up to $5,500 of the total cost.

“We are really pleased to be participating in this program,” said chamber director David Bond.

“The feedback we’ve been getting from our members is that they are really looking for incentives to assist them in adopting sustainable measures in their business.”

Under FLIP, small business owners can have a lighting consultant come to their business and recommend energy efficient changes that will reduce costs.

An approved contractor will then make the changes with Fortis and the province picking up the bill, up to $5,500.

At the Kelowna Chamber several changes were made:

• The light colour has been standardized to make the business less institutional and more pleasing to the eye.

• An occupancy sensor was installed in the CEO’s office, meaning the light turns off automatically when the room is not in use.

• The boardroom was updated with compact fluorescent lights.

The changes will results in about $1,800 in savings for the chamber and is the equivalent of removing an entire single family home from the power grid.

Also there were no extra costs incurred by the chamber.

“As a non-profit organization, that amount of saving is important to the chamber,” said Bond, who joked that the improved lighting in the boardroom also helps.

“The lighting is less institutional and that’s important when you are sitting around a board of directors meeting.”

The program is aimed at small businesses operating in a business centre and does not include home-based businesses.

“With his program we completely remove the potential barriers for small businesses to upgrade their lighting,” said Fortis executive VP Michael Mulcahy.

“We provide the expertise and the costs are covered.”

The B.C. government is providing $4.1 million in funding while Fortis is providing $1 million. To contact FLIP call 1-866-932-8283 or e-mail flip@fortisbc.com.

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