Bright program raises Parksville’s profile

Using power smart lightbulbs ends up saving a whole lot of money

Bill and Jeniffer Colette of Boston Pizza in Parksville took advantage of a Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce energy program and have switched over to energy saving light bulbs in their restaurant.

Bill and Jeniffer Colette of Boston Pizza in Parksville took advantage of a Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce energy program and have switched over to energy saving light bulbs in their restaurant.

Several businesses in Oceanside have taken advantage of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce LiveSmart BC Small Business Program — and not only are they now saving money on their energy bills; they are also reducing their carbon footprint.

Executive Director Kim Burden said they were selected as the umbrella organization to provide the services of a Business Energy Advisor to businesses. As a host agency for the LiveSmart BC program they have done energy audits on more than 80 businesses and completed a number of changeovers on the Central/North Vancouver Island, Powell River and the Sunshine Coast.

He said the concept is fantastic and the chamber jumped at the opportunity to be part of it when they were approached by LiveSmart BC back in January.

“I was sold on the triple bottom line; social responsibility and environmental responsibility which create a positive economic flow.”

He said the program’s advantages are numerous including the fact that it is free for small businesses that spend up to $50,000 per year on electricity.

The chamber received funding to hire a Business Energy Advisor who completes an energy audit at a place of business and then hooks them up with a wide variety of grants to complete their energy upgrade.

Brian Pasquill has been busy working directly with businesses to identify potential energy and money saving opportunities, including lighting, hot water, heating and ventilation improvements.

Burden said he covers a territory from Duncan to Port Hardy, Powell River and the Sunshine Coast and has been successful in finding huge savings for businesses.

“It is a bottom line issue for many businesses working with thin margins. Here is a way for them to save some dough,” he stated.

Burden said businesses who upgrade old and inefficient equipment qualify for grants and incentives from BC Hydro.

“In many cases he (Pasquill) has found ways where the rebate exceeds what they are going to pay for an upgrade and it puts money in their pocket.”

He said the chamber took advantage of the program converting the lighting in their own building and the energy savings has been significant.

Burden said he used to have to borrow the ladder from the museum on a regular basis to change their light bulbs but now that they have changed all of their fluorescents to LEDS the power bill has gone down.

“I am a bottom line guy and we are contributing to decreasing our environmental footprint and that is a good thing,” he said.

He said the fact that the Parksville chamber is promoting the greening of business not only in our community but elsewhere on the Island raises their profile.

Boston Pizza in Parksville is one of about 50 businesses in Parksville that has shown some green leadership and taken advantage of the program. Owner Bill Collette said not only is he saving money on his energy bill, he is no longer spending his time changing light bulbs.

“I used to change about two light bulbs a week. I was always up on the ladder,” he said.

Collette said his old incandescent bulbs have been replaced with LED lights and it has made a huge difference.

“We went from 90 watts to 17 but we find we are dimming the lights because they are so bright.”

He said customers appreciate the improved light because they don’t have to strain to read the menu.

He said although the new light bulbs cost more money, they last longer and he said with the grant they received from BC Hydro it just made financial sense to do the conversion.

Overall he said he is saving about $200 per month on his hydro bill.

Burden said BC Hydro doesn’t want to invest in new infrastructure and if this program can reduce energy consumption by helping businesses use greener technology he is all for it. He said the current program goes until April, 2012 but he is confident it will be expanded because so far they are achieving their targets.

He added the chamber will be looking at the economic development potential of attracting businesses that supply energy saving devices taking advantage of the opportunity to look to the Oceanside region as a leader and potential base for their operations.

“If we could become a demonstration place for that sort of technology and build clean renewable energy products for the future, I think it would be a good fit for the community.”

He said green energy development has to be part of the next generation’s job prospects.




Just Posted

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station burned to the ground after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Stanley Fischer, right, died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Victoria police not reopening investigation into man’s 1981 death while in custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found in his jail cell

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read