British Colombia's Mills Get Energy Saving Boost

THE Canadian province of British Colombia's (BC) government have announced a new Power Smart program to improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity costs for paper and pulp mills.

The program will help producers remain globally competitive, supporting thousands of jobs throughout the province, while reducing overall electricity demand, keeping rates lower for customers over the long-term.

The new program builds on existing initiatives for industrial customers where the province’s utility company, BC Hydro, provides a financial incentive of up to 75% of the project cost to support investments in more energy efficient equipment.

Under the new program, thermo-mechanical pulp and paper producers, which have electricity costs that account for as much as 30% of their operating budgets and represent 10% of BC Hydro’s annual power sales, will be eligible for increased incentives ranging from $5 million to $25 million for projects that can reduce their power consumption.

The program is expected to reduce electricity consumption by 300 gigawatt hours per year which will save pulp and paper producers $17.5 million in annual power costs. In addition, by reducing overall electricity demand by this amount, BC Hydro will avoid the need to acquire new sources of power generation, saving ratepayers up to $265 million and keeping rates low for all customers.

The demand for electricity in British Columbia is expected to grow by 40% over the next 20 years. Investing in energy efficiency is a key component of BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan target to meet 78% of this new demand through conservation, which is more cost-effective than acquiring new sources of power generation.

Picture of Crofton Mill in BC by Kaiser Matias reproduced under CCL.

Friday 25th July 2014

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