The program is designed to help local businesses save money on electricity costs and to support the province's conservation goals.
"Small business is an integral part of our local economy and I encourage programs that can help them to grow and prosper," said Jim Abernethy, Mayor of Clarington. "The Power Savings Blitz will help local businesses maintain their competitive edge and, at the same time, will benefit the environment through reduced energy use. I'm very pleased that the program is being launched in our community."
Representatives of Veridian Connections and Hydro One Networks will be visiting small businesses in Bowmanville, Orono, Newcastle, Courtice, and Port Hope to formally introduce Power Savings Blitz.
All eligible businesses will be offered a free energy audit that will identify energy efficient upgrade opportunities. The first 600 qualifying businesses that agree to proceed with the upgrades will each receive up to $1,000 worth of energy efficient improvements, free of charge.
"The energy efficiency retrofits offered through this program are pretty simple but the result is significant," said Michael Angemeer, President and CEO of Veridian Connections. "Just by taking out old, energy wasteful lighting systems and replacing them with more efficient products, a business can notably reduce its electricity usage. And with recent technological improvements, lighting quality will be maintained or even improved."
The Power Savings Blitz is focused largely on upgrades to lighting systems. The older fluorescent tube lights typically found in stores and businesses are much less efficient than newer lighting technology. Existing fixtures can often be retrofit with new electronic ballasts and energy-saving tube lighting that uses about one-third less electricity.
"Although lighting may not represent the largest operating expense for many small businesses, the total amount of electricity used by lighting systems in this sector is considerable across our service areas," said Giuliana Rossini, Director Strategy and Conservation Officer, Hydro One Networks. "Anything we can do to help our business customers become more energy efficient is a benefit not only to them, but to everyone concerned about saving electricity and protecting the environment."
The communities of Clarington and Port Hope were selected for the initial launch of the Power Savings Blitz program due to local supply constraints that make conservation in these areas a priority. It is expected that the program will be expanded in 2009 to include other communities served by Veridian and Hydro One.
To learn more about the program, small business owners are encouraged to attend one of two free information sessions. Please register your attendance with firstname.lastname@example.org.