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HRAI2 17042019The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has approved an aggressive conservation program for energy utility FortisBC. The utility received the go-ahead to double its conservation spending and efficiency programs in 2019 and triple this spending by 2022. The approval was part of the 2019-2022 Demand Side Management applications and represents the largest funding approvals FortisBC has ever received for energy-efficiency initiatives.

Mechanical Business Magazine reports this increases total energy-efficiency investments to $368.5 million over the 2019–2022 period, with much of the increase occurring in the first year. Overall spending on natural gas conservation programs is doubling from 2016 levels — $32.1 million in 2016 to $66.3 million in 2019. By 2022, annual spending will triple to $96.7 million. For 170,000 electric customers overall spending jumps 75%, increasing from about $6.6 million in 2016 to $11.4 million by 2022.

The company estimates it will double its natural gas energy savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, and achieve 1 million gigajoules of annual savings. This in turn will lead to GHG reductions of approximately 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Total electricity savings are estimated to increase to 130 gigawatts by 2022, or about 50% compared to 2016 levels. In addition to adding more incentives and increasing the value of many of its existing offers, FortisBC is trying to streamline programs, and align offers with provincial partners.