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Energy initiative aims to spark change in Harrison

Money-saving upgrades to be available to residents

The future of energy savings in Harrison Hot Springs is looking bright.

It’s On Electric Company, BC Hydro and FortisBC recently introduced the Direct Install Program – an energy-saving initiative – to the Village of Harrison Hot Springs during the regular council meeting on Feb. 3.

Sash Sorg, client relations for It’s On, said the community became the target of the Direct Install Program due to the overtaxed substation that powers the village and the District of Kent. He said this over-capacity problem has been an ongoing issue for the past few years.

READ ALSO: B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

The Direct Install Program allows Harrison residents who live in single-family, detached homes free home energy assessments and installation of energy-saving measures. There are a number of upgrades available, including energy-saving LED lightbulbs, smart thermostats, efficient shower heads and weather stripping for doors. B.C. Hydro and FortisBC will cover installation, equipment and assessment expenses involved in the program, leaving no cost to the residents.

Participation in the Direct Install Program is limited to 100 homes; applicants can be owners or renters. Those interested should visit the program’s website at https://www.itsonelectric.com/village-of-harrison-direct-install, call 1-800-874-3831 or email harrison@itsonelectric.com.

Sorg said the program is hoping to have all applications submitted by April so the process can move forward.

Once residents fill out a one-page application available for print online, asking for some basic information about their home, It’s On staff will review the application to confirm eligibility. Once that’s done, a representative of the company will call for a short interview.

READ ALSO: FortisBC pleads with customers to reduce natural gas usage

Staff will then conduct an assessment of the home free of charge, consisting of thermal imaging to examine ventilation and airflow efficiency and identify areas that can be approved. Following this, energy professionals can begin installing energy upgrades in the home. This can include something as simple as energy-efficient light bulbs to occupancy sensors to smart thermostats and weather stripping.

After installation, residents can expect to get information from the energy efficiency expert how to save money on their gas and hydro bills going forward as well as a detailed report concerning future energy saving opportunities, rebates and more.

At this time, the program is not available for a majority of commercial properties yet. The exception in this case is the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, which Sorg said is one of the single biggest consumers in the area.

Sorg said this is only step one of energy-saving efforts before infrastructure changes are needed with additional efforts rolling out by about 2022.

“I call it a stepping stone,” Sorg said. “If everything goes well and according to plan, infrastructure costs will be kept at a minimum, and that’s our main goal.”

“Conservation is the first and best way to meet our future electricity needs, manage growing demand on the grid and keep costs low,” said a letter of endorsement for the program from BC Hydro. “The Direct Install program is one of many ways you can reduce your electricity use, save money and help your community.”

It’s On Electric Company is based in Surrey, established in 2006.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

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