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2014-05-07 at 13:16

Cutting energy, cost

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY -- Rob Coffey says energy conservation is saving his furniture company big dollars.

On Wednesday the owner of Dufresne Furniture was recognized, along with three other Thunder Bay companies, for changes that allowed them to drastically cut their energy use.

Coffey said he expects to cover the $32,000 cost of the retrofit at his store quickly.

“We looked at the number and the rebates offered by the Ontario Power Authority and it made sense for us,” Coffey said, after earning a 2014 Retrofit Excellence in Energy and Conservation Award, handed out by Thunder Bay Hydro at a luncheon meeting.

“We will actually pay for the project in less than a year.

Coffey said the major change made to his showroom was a change in lighting, switching from 75-watt bulbs to 15-watt LED lighting.

“It’s a huge savings per head,” he said, adding they swapped out about 800 lights.

“One of the most significant costs of operating a showroom is lighting. You have to have the right lighting. We had a lot of lighting in our store and a huge electrical bill on top of that.”

There was an added bonus, he said.

“On top of that, with the old 75-watt lights, they generated a lot of heat. So in the summertime, the air conditioner was operating all the time,” he said.

Ben Hettrick, general manager at Smith’s RV Centre, said the program was a natural fit, and when it was introduced, he saw it made a lot of sense.

“Basically what we had to do was get rid of our non-energy efficient lighting and upgrade to a T5 lighting. In our showroom we want to recreate the camping experience, so you try to create that natural light,” Hettrick said.

“So we went all the way to the T5s, which is a really high-efficient light bulb and a very natural light. It was able to really brighten up the showroom, clean things up and just help increase sales as well.”

Hettrick figured the light change alone will save him 35 per cent on his energy bills going forward.
That’s just what the program was designed to do, said Bill Willis, supervisor of conservation and energy services at Thunder Bay Hydro.

And it appears to be working.

“Since 2007 the Retrofit program started and we’ve saved about 8.6 million kilowatt hours. That equates to enough power to supply to about 900 homes,” Willis said.

What they’re looking for are companies with older, inefficient electrical products.

“We have programs that will get them better, efficient (ways) in their businesses,” he said.

Also honoured on Wednesday were Badanai Motors, which expects to save about 44,000 kilowatts of electricity each year with a change in lighting systems, and LMI Thunder Bay, which has cut $25,000 from its energy bill, also through more energy efficient lighting.

The program has recruited the Airlane Hotel and Conference Centre, Dominion Motors and Naxos Grille & Bar to join the program in 2014.

 

 

 

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Comments

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tudor says:
This is a government program that makes sense and obviously saves money. The other main point while referenced but not expanded on is that the province did not have to build generating capacity for those 900 homes. Think if that programmed went up by 10 times.

People need to use less. Less street lights, less businesses lit up, less power use in homes, more efficient methods for production. That is what is needed globally.

Nice to see it is happening in Ontario as these businesses demonstrate. Baby steps I suppose, but important ones if a reluctant public is ever going to walk down the path of doing things better and cleaner.
5/7/2014 4:36:01 PM
hotdog says:
A government program that makes sense? That's an oxymoron. As rate payers are incented to undermine the revenue stream of the power producers and the distributers, jobs will be lost and money will be sucked from the economy. We are entering into a deflationary period in the economic cycle.

If the OPA really wanted to pass on savings to consumers and rate payers, they would shut down the Thunder Bay Thermal Generating station that hasn't run in three years while paying 100 employees to stand around waiting for something to happen. Backwards, has become the new forwards.
5/7/2014 7:45:28 PM
Eastender says:
"Backwards is the new Forward". An appropriate slogan for OPG.
5/8/2014 8:59:35 AM
orig junkyarddog says:
Cutting cost is essential, but as we cut consumption adjust to time of usage schedules, whatever gains we have made are racked back by the utility, in increases. So those of us that have cut back have saved compared to others who haven't our pay out is no less and still increasing. With their need for us to feed they’re need for greed.
Doug Powell
5/7/2014 5:28:57 PM
pub27 says:
This is great news but the savings only last until the next price increase...
5/7/2014 5:46:47 PM
tiredofit says:
We've done everything we could, switched to CF, reduced other things and while we did lower our bill, the dam province has increased it on a regular basis.
TBHydro asked us to reduce, we did, how did they reward us? They complained they were not bringing the income they once did and they raised the rates.

Now I'm spending another fortune converting to new LED, lets hope that reduces it before they cry the blues again and raise it. The Liberals have done a great job at increasing the rates hand over fist.

PC's claim they'll reduce the rates, but how are they going to pay the golden pay cheques of solar and wind developers? It's a NO WIN situation in this province.

Oh yeah, were's all of the awards for the residents who reduced usage? All they got was an increase in cost... nice, really nice.
5/7/2014 6:04:25 PM
Eastender says:
When they were getting us to conserve hydro because it left a carbon footprint, well that kind of made sense. But now they're telling us to conserve electricity when it is being produced by the wind and sun, which are expensive. What next, start conserving air? Breath a little less?
We are being told to conserve water in Canada, because? Were running out?

The greed of the corporations knows no bounds. They would feed you sawdust and tell you it was steak if they could get away with it.
Hey wait, they are probably already doing it.
5/7/2014 6:39:31 PM
ranma says:
The more that we save on our present bills, the more we will have to pay on our future bills. As revenue decreases by lack of use, the utility will request a rate increase to make up for these lack of revenues. People will continue to use less until we are forced to eat by candle light, and go back to wood stoves for heat.

We can not afford the current rates of Ontario Hydro, and apparently the "debt retirement" fee should have been paid off 2 years ago. So WHY is it still being collected?
5/7/2014 7:16:34 PM
RelaxinginMurillo says:
The old Hydro was so far in debt, they had to spin off a new entity to take on part of it. It gets paid down via the debt retirement charge (ratepayers) and payments from Hydro in lieu of taxes (taxpayers).
The plan was meant to roll back into Hydro once it was low enough, forecast for 2015 or so. So, the ratepayers will continue to pay.
Odd that the Libs are making it like part of their "plan" (to "eliminate" the charge), when it was due to happen anyhow.
5/7/2014 10:08:09 PM
SomeGuy says:
How much would you be paying if you still used the same amount of power before but at today's rates.

The reality is our energy prices are very low compared to the rest of the industrialized world.
5/7/2014 8:19:02 PM
Tiredofit says:
I suggest you do your homework and review costs in Ontario vs the world. We are one of the most expensive jurisdiction in North American. Almost twice as much has some provinces!
5/9/2014 6:27:53 AM
Jack Frost says:
Eastender says:

"Backwards is the new Forward". An appropriate slogan for OPG.

Hilarious and I love it !!

OPG's new forward sounds just great, just it's in the wrong direction as usual and nothing will ever change...

LOL !!
Tbnewswatch.com

5/8/2014 12:16:25 PM
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