Finding funding for energy saving projects
By Brandi Cowen
With the announcement this past weekend of two Prince George businesses receiving funding for energy savings projects, now is a great time for a refresher on where greenhouses can look for their own incentive funding for programs and projects.
A great resource available to all businesses is your local utility companies, like Enbridge or Union Gas. They are eager to implement energy saving measures and are often the most knowledgeable about what programs are available in your specific area. They have access to the paperwork that needs to be completed, they know where and when it has to be submitted and can provide support when tackling energy saving projects. Both electrical and natural gas companies offer a variety of incentives, some agricultural specific.
A secondary place to look is through both the provincial and federal governments. They often work together in providing programs across the country to assist agricultural operations in being more energy efficient and tackling energy efficiency upgrades for their operations. One such program is the Growing Forward program, available in all provinces and territories in Canada, with each location offering programs specific to their province.
In speaking with clients, we often hear the same thing: “applying for incentives is too much work.” Often the paperwork involved with incentive funding is seen as tedious and too time consuming for a greenhouse operator to really concern themselves with it. This is where your energy consultants, marketers and growing consultants may be able to help. Often this service is included in their offering or can be acquired for a nominal fee. They are accustomed to working with this paperwork and can often move the process along smoothly without any hassle for the grower. Incentives that are currently available are covering anywhere from 10 to 100 percent of energy initiatives. Often these kinds of incentives can make projects more economically viable in the short term than originally anticipated.
So take a few minutes and explore your incentive options available before you begin a new project or completely dismiss an energy improvement idea. It may just be worth your time in both the short term and long term, to really understand the options that are available to you.
Lisa Brodeur is a quality assurance supervisor at 360 Energy.